'-FIVE ! HISTORIC
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Twenty-Five Historic Years
The Committee on Lectures and Publications has the honor to
present herewith "Twenty-Five Historic Years/' which constitutes
the history of the Society for the last quarter of a century.
Boston, Massachusetts, December i, 1954
Stedman Buttrick, Chairman
2 ' "■""**! i J
HOW AN EXHIBITION, A MAGAZINE
AND A LIBRARY BROUGHT NEW LIFE
TO A FAMOUS INSTITUTION
The history of the Massachusetts Horticultural
Society from March, 1929
EDWARD I. FARRINGTON
PUBLISHED BY THE MASSACHUSETTS
COPYRIGHT 1955, BY THE
MASSACHUSETTS HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY
MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
THIS book is more than a history. It is in substance the
story of a unique, three-way experiment and what resulted
from it. Consider these facts: Twenty-five years ago no
other Society like this one had ever attempted to publish and
circulate a national magazine. No other Library such as ours had
sent its books to every corner of the land. No other horticultural
organization had established an annual flower show of the pro-
portions and with the variety of the one in Boston. Here is an
account of the manner in which these divergent enterprises were
developed, blended and unified until the Massachusetts Horti-
cultural Society had come to occupy the commanding position it
enjoys today. It is a tale which takes the reader through a great
depression and a world war, revealing the manner in which the
many grave problems presented were met and solved. It deals
with the personalities of the able men who guarded the Society's
financial stability and guided its destinies in other ways. It will
stir many memories among our older members and create a bet-
ter understanding of the Society among those who are younger. It
is not dry or statistical. I am sure it will be read with interest.
Arno H. Nehrling
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1929 — Year of Mixed Emotions 1
1930 — A Princely Gift and a Tragedy 6
1 93 1 — Passing of a Great Benefactor 14
1932 — The Society Weathers a Depression 23
1933 — Steady Growth through Troubled Times .... 30
1934 — A New Exhibition Manager Proves Himself ... 36
1935 — Rigid Economy Well Rewarded 42
1936 — Black Ink Unexpectedly Turns Red 49
1937 — Lord Aberconway Sees an Unusual Show .... 55
1938 — A Tranquil Year Ends with a Hurricane .... 61
1939 — The Board of Trustees Takes Drastic Action . . 68
1940 — A Successful Spring Show Brings Clearer Skies. . 75
1 94 1 — The Calm Before the Storm 82
1942 — The Society Turns to War Work 88
1943 — America's Only Important Spring Show .... 96
1944 — President Webster Hands His Gavel to John S. Ames 102
1945 — Peace Brings Many New Problems 111
1946 — A Year Crowded with Far-Reaching Events . . . 117
1947 — Advent of a New Secretary Brings Many Changes . 124
1948 — Important Changes in Personnel 130
1949 — An Unexpected Windfall and a Busy Year . . . 136
1950 — Twelve Months of Record-Breaking Prosperity. . 145
195 1 — Financial Losses and Yet a Good Year . . . . 152
1952 — A Successful Show Provides for Needed Improve-
1953 — Serious Problems Are Met with Bold Decisions. . 166
1954 — Another Anniversary and a Novel Celebration . 174
Medals of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society . . 183
Special Awards at the Flower Shows 185
Albert C. Burrage Porch Prize Awards 186
George Robert White Medal of Honor Awards . . . . 187
Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase Awards 190
Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal Awards 191
Thomas Roland Medal Awards 191
H. H. Hunnewell Medal Awards 192
Portraits, Busts and Vases 193
Members of the Board of Trustees from 1929 . . . . 200
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Horticultural Hall Frontispiece
Albert C. Burrage, President from 1921 to 1931 .... 18
Edwin S. Webster, President from 1931 to 1944 .... 19
Frontispiece of a Rare Book in the Library of the Massachu-
setts Horticultural Society 50
John S. Ames, Elected President of the Society in 1944 ... 51
Edward I. Farrington, Secretary from 1924 to 1947 ... 58
A Part of the Estate in Milton for Which Mr. and Mrs.
Geoffrey G. Whitney Were Awarded the H. H. Hunnewell
Medal in 1930 59
The Garden of Mrs. Charles D. Armstrong at Osterville, for
Which a Gold Medal Was Awarded in 1941 66
Scroll Awarded to the Society in 1945 by the Garden Club
Federation of Massachusetts 67
Arno H. Nehrling, Who Became Executive Secretary in 1947 . 82
The Dutch Village on the Stage of Grand Hall at the 1948
Spring Flower Show, Staged by the Society 83
The Extensive Planting of Narcissi Made by John Russell at
Dedham. Awarded a Gold Medal 114
Prize-Winning Display Staged by Dr. Thomas Barbour at the
Harvest Show in 1939 115
Terrace of Mr. and Mrs. William S. Febiger of Manchester,
Awarded the Albert C. Burrage Porch Fund Medal. In 1953 146
Stedman Buttrick, Elected Treasurer in 1948 147
The Society's Medal, The Thomas Roland Medal, and The
Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal 178
The George Robert White Medal of Honor, Front and Reverse,
and The Horatio Hollis Hunnewell Medal 179
SOME 125 years ago a few Boston men began holding
occasional meetings in the down-town district to consider
forming a Horticultural Society. Most of them lived in
outlying sections, where they had gardens or even farms. Their
discussions came to a head on February 24, 1829, when a well
attended preliminary meeting was held. The actual organization
took place on March 17. One hundred and twenty-five years ago
Boston had a population of but 60,000 persons and had been
incorporated as a city only seven years. Pennsylvania already
had a Horticultural Society — formed two years before — still a
prosperous and influential organization. It is the only existent
Horticultural Society which antedates this one, but it was not
incorporated as early.
There was a keen desire on the part of those interested in the
Boston Society to exhibit the products of their gardens, although
the amount of material available was exceedingly limited com-
pared with that of today. The Concord grape had not been orig-
inated at that time. Neither had such pears as Clapp's Favorite
and Dana Hovey. The only squash known was a crookneck, and
tomatoes were looked upon as poisonous weeds. Many of the
flowers now in common cultivation were undreamed of then.
Plant hunters were already at work, however, both in the Far
East and on this continent, and for the next half a century a
flood of new plant material poured in upon gardeners, much of
it being exhibited for the first time in the halls of the Massachu-
setts Horticultural Society. Robert Fortune was sending from
China such valuable subjects as Weigela rosea, Fortune's yellow
rose, Anemone Japonica, Forsythia viridissima, the white wis-
taria and the common bleeding heart, Dielytra spectabilis. This
last named plant, which did not reach America until about 1850,
was exhibited by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society two
years later, when it created little less than a sensation.
General H. A. S. Dearborn of Roxbury was the first President
of the newly organized Society, which was ambitious from the
first and soon found itself the owner of a cemetery and a test
garden, both in Cambridge. The cemetery was Mount Auburn,
where now sleep many of the country's most illustrious dead. It
was the first public cemetery in America and formed the pattern
for all those which have come since. Before that time cemeteries
had been laid out in the shadow of a church or within the confines
of a city.
The management of the cemetery soon became a major financial
undertaking, however, seriously interfering with the Society's
more normal activities. After a few years, therefore, a separation
was made, but with the provision that one-fourth of the receipts
from lots sold should accrue to the parent organization. That very
favorable arrangement has been continued until the present day,
although it cannot be expected to provide much revenue in the
future, as it does not apply to lots in parts of the cemetery more
recently acquired. The payments received from the Mount Auburn
Cemetery Association were permitted to accumulate as a fund
until the amount had reached $55,053.52. Since then they have
been used against annual expenses. The test garden was soon
abandoned, too, as it was becoming a source of contention, both
as to management and the disposition of the garden's products.
Exhibitions were held almost from the beginning in such small
halls as could be found, with occasional public meetings in
Faneuil Hall. However, by 1845 tne Society was bold enough to
erect a $40,000 building on School Street — the first Horticultural
Hall. Stores on the ground floor helped defray the expenses
and this was true when the second Horticultural Hall was built.
Located on Tremont street, this was a much larger and more
ornate structure, costing $240,000. It soon gained fame by reason
of three huge granite statues of Ceres, Pomona and Flora, which
adorned the front of the building and the ultimate fate of which
has long been a subject of debate. In the meantime the Society,
seeking larger exhibition space, had conducted three Flower
Shows in a great tent on Boston Common. These Shows proved
very popular, but the constant threat of rain led to their dis-
The Tremont Street building served the Society for thirty-five
years from 1863, DUt after a time there came a lack of exhibi-
tion space in the second-floor hall. Then, as a forerunner of what
was to come in later years, the Society went to Mechanics Build-
ing for a Show in 1887, the American Pomological Society co-
At the same time the Librarian began to complain that all his
shelf space was being used up. The Trustees began looking
around. A petition to the legislature for permission to buy land
in the Back Bay was rejected. An energetic effort was made to
obtain permission to erect a new Horticultural Hall within the
confines of Boston Common but the city council refused to agree
to such a plan.
Then, some years later, the Society again cast its eyes in the
direction of the Back Bay. The present site was purchased, albeit
with much grumbling on the part of members who thought it was
too far out in the country. Soon the third Horticultural Hall came
into being — as handsome a building as the city can boast, ad-
mirably situated and rivaled only by the new Hall of the Royal
Horticultural Society in London.
In that first one hundred years the Society had twenty-eight
Presidents. In the quarter of a century following it has had but
three. The Society has been active in promoting every phase of
horticulture. It has assisted in the introduction of new flowers,
fruits and vegetables by the hundreds. It had much to do with
establishing the nation-wide movement for children's gardens. It
has contributed consistently to the horticultural literature of
the country. Indeed, its history is interwoven with that of all
The Society's work was badly handicapped by World War I
and in 1923 it had only a thousand members who had paid their
dues. A ten dollar initiation fee was the stumbling block at that
time. It had been imposed in lieu of increased annual dues, which
were pegged at two dollars by the Society's charter, but it was a
move that had defeated its own ends. With this ten dollar charge
removed, which soon came about, and with a more aggressive
policy, embracing a great Spring Exhibition, the newly-purchased
magazine Horticulture and a greatly broadened Library service,
there came a rapid acceleration of all the Society's activities. So
began an era of growth and progress beyond anything the Society
had known before and of it this writer can happily say, "All of
which I saw and a part of which I was."
1929 — YEAR OF MIXED EMOTIONS
A LBERT E. BENSON'S admirable history of the first 100
/ \ years of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society closed
JL jL with a graphic description of the great Centennial Ex-
hibition at Mechanics Building in March of 1929. The history of
the succeeding quarter century must begin therefore in the late
Spring of that year. The Centennial Exhibition was so great a
success that the sum of $30,000 was set aside by the Trustees as
a special fund to be drawn upon in the event that a future show
suffered a loss.
One hundred special Centennial Medals struck from a die
modeled by John Paramino of Boston were awarded during and
after the Show, the first one going to President Burrage.
Centennial Medals were sent to T. A. Havemeyer and Freder-
ick Newbold, President and Secretary respectively of the Horti-
cultural Society of New York, and to John C. Wister, Secretary
of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. The Society noted
with regret the death of James Boyd, President of the Pennsyl-
vania Society, whose relations with the Massachusetts Society
had been most cordial, and who was known as a skilled amateur
horticulturist, having a special interest in peonies.
Before the end of the year satisfaction at the success of the
Show was tempered by the passing of Thomas H. Roland, who,
more than any one else, had been responsible for the decision to
hold the Show. Mr. Roland had been a Trustee for twenty-one
years and was always active in the Society's affairs. He came to
this country from England as a young man, located in Nahant
and developed an extensive greenhouse business, often being
called the best plantsman in America. He had great influence in
horticultural circles throughout the country, was a member of
many organizations and highly successful as an exhibitor, espe-
cially when showing cypripedium orchids, of which he was very
2 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
fond. Ernest H. Wilson wrote of him in the 1930 Year Book as
follows: "Profound of thought, a stickler for law and principle,
Thomas Roland was sagacious and courteous, and as a rule won
over those opposed to his views. He will be remembered as a
great plantsman, a wise counsellor, a loyal and generous friend."
Mr. Wilson, another Englishman, and Mr. Roland were close
friends and liked nothing better than to spend an evening together
at Locke-Ober's restaurant talking British politics. They sup-
ported opposing parties and the debate waxed heated at times,
although it always ended with a laugh, a handshake and the best
of good will.
Mr. Roland was conservative by nature and protested vigor-
ously to the Secretary because he had assigned the basement room
to the garden clubs when they first began to exhibit at Horti-
cultural Hall. The Secretary could not well retreat, but the
garden clubs did so well that their critic was delighted. Soon he
became their warm champion and the next year they exhibited
on the street floor. Mr. Roland was a charter member of the
Horticultural Club of Boston. Death came to this unusual man
on December n, when he was in his 67th year. The funeral was
held in his greenhouse at Nahant and was attended by prominent
men and women from many parts of the country.
At the inaugural meeting in January President Burrage had
given the Society the sum of $1,250 to establish a porch competi-
tion. It was stipulated that the porch should be constructed dur-
ing the year as an addition to a dwelling already standing and
that it must overlook a garden. The first award was made to Ben:
Perley Poore Moseley of Ipswich for an attractive porch overlook-
ing both a garden and the sea, and surmounted by a miniature
beacon light, making possible the enjoyment of the garden at night.
The George Robert White Medal of Honor for 1929 went
abroad, being awarded to Miss Gertrude Jekyll, V.M.H., whose
influence on gardening had grown world-wide in the course of her
The Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal was awarded to Charles
Sander for his work in hybridizing woody plants. Mr. Sander was
Professor Charles S. Sargent's superintendent for many years and
a man of great skill as a gardener. The Thomas Roland Medal
YEAR OF MIXED EMOTIONS 3
was given to Frank R. Pierson for his exceptional skill as a horti-
culturist. He was the owner of an extensive florist establishment
in Tarrytown, N. Y.
It was voted at the annual meeting in 1929 to consolidate the
George Robert White, Jackson Dawson and Thomas Roland
Medal committees and a single committee has continued to act
since that time.
Garden awards were as follows:
A Gold Medal to Mrs. Gustavus D. Parker, for her estate at Wianno.
A Silver Medal to Mr. and Mrs. Harry T. Hayward, for their estate at
A Silver Medal to Mrs. L. Carteret Fenno, for her wild garden at
A Bronze Medal to Mr. and Mrs. Henry B. Pennell, Cohasset, for a
small Italian garden.
Garden Certificates to Paul Frost of Cambridge, and to Mrs. Frederick
Hussey of Salem.
A $500 Gold Cup offered in the name of the Society was
awarded to Mr. and Mrs. Burrage at the Autumn Flower Show
for a magnificent group of stove and greenhouse flowering and
Nathaniel T. Kidder, Chairman of the Library Committee, re-
ported to the Trustees in June that Mr. Benson had completed
the history of the Society. Printing was finished in December
and distribution began at once. Two thousand five hundred copies
were printed. This book is a handsome piece of work with excel-
lent illustrations and a total of 500 pages. Copies are still avail-
able as this is written at the price of one dollar.
Samuel J. Goddard of Framingham was made a Trustee to fill
the vacancy caused by the death of Mr. Roland. James Methven
was elected a Trustee at the annual meeting.
A somewhat unexpected result of transferring the Spring
Flower Show to Mechanics Building was a sharp falling off in
the number of books borrowed for reading at home. Soon after
the Show, however, the Librarian became normally busy again.
The Library added 282 volumes in 1929, making a total of about
25,000 books and bound periodicals on the shelves. In Novem-
4 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
ber the Librarian, Miss Dorothy S. Manks, was sent to Wash-
ington to study the methods being followed in the Library of the
United States Department of Agriculture.
The repairing of rare books, begun in 1928 with Miss Irene M.
Tilden in charge, was continued in 1929 and was to go on for
many years. Indeed, is still going on as this is written. An un-
expected discovery was made in the course of work on Brunfels'
Herbarum Vivae Eicones. The volume had stood on the shelves
for years without receiving special attention. Unusual panelled
depressions in the board covers aroused Miss Tilden's curiosity
and led to the bringing to light of the very old and probably
original leather sides. The book itself, just 425 years old, is one
of the best examples of 16th century plant books, and the early
binding adds to both the interest and the financial value of this
The necrology list for the year came as a shock, with the loss
of twenty-five life members and forty annual members. Special
mention must be made of the death of T. D. Hatfield, superin-
tendent for Henry Sargent Hunnewell in Wellesley. Mr. Hatfield
was a very able gardener and a skilled hybridizer. The Hatfield
yew came from him, as did the Louisa Hunnewell azalea. He
served for many years as a judge at the Society's shows.
The number of life members who passed away focussed atten-
tion on the fact that life members were being lost to the Society
faster than they were being replaced. At the time, the total mem-
bership included only 829 life members, whereas as many as 300
life members had been added in a single year in the old days.
However, in those days the list of annual members was small.
Growth began when the iniation fee of ten dollars was removed
in the early days of Mr. Burrage's administration, the only re-
quirement after that being the payment of the regular annual fee
of two dollars. The membership increased rather rapidly then,
but not until 1929 were as many as 1244 new names added to the
roster in a single year. At the end of 1929 the total membership
had reached 5,652.
It was pleasant to find the Royal Horticultural Society in
London recognizing the anniversary celebration of the Massachu-
YEAR OF MIXED EMOTIONS 5
setts organization with an engraved salutation which read as
To the President and Council of the Massachusetts Horticultural
In the name of and on behalf of the Royal Horticultural Society, we
desire to send greetings and congratulations to our friends and colleagues
of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society on the occasion of the cele-
bration of its centenary. We venture to express the belief that this occa-
sion is a significant mark in the progress of horticulture and the hope
that the Society will ever prosper and extend its influence for the benefit
The balance sheet at the end of the year showed a total income
of $88,928.07. Total expenditures were $50,248.31. The actual
profit on the year's operations was $38,268.30. There was a loss
of $1,441.51 on the Autumn Show. Horticulture had a loss of
$411.46. A balance of $8,268.30 was transferred to the earned
income account. As noted, $30,000 had previously been set aside
for the establishment of a Show Insurance Fund.
These figures are interesting because they are very much
greater than those reported at any previous meeting, due, of
course, to the great Centennial Exhibition. They did not con-
tinue on this level.
1930— A PRINCELY GIFT AND A TRAGEDY
A LBERT C. BURRAGE began his tenth term as President
L\ of the Society at the inaugural meeting January 13,
JL JL 1930, having been chosen for this office more often than
any previous incumbent. The pertinent way in which he presented
Society problems to the members and the lucid manner in which
he explained current situations caused his annual addresses to
be anticipated with interest. At this meeting he discussed rather
frankly certain matters which had been on his mind for some
time. Among other things he said:
"Some of us, during the past ten years that I have been a Trustee,
have had one goal in mind: to live to see the day when it would be
acknowledged that this Society is truly representative, not only of
the district in which it is situated, but also of the principal horticultural
interests of the state.
"Just as we have altered our By-Laws to force into the Board some
new blood each year, so we ought to see, somehow, that the same plan
will be applied to committees and judges, lest we fall into ruts and dis-
courage the younger generation who also wish honors and can do good
After thanking certain members of the Board and various em-
ployes for what they had accomplished in the year just over, Mr.
Bur rage continued as follows:
"I hope for the day when every committeeman will be present at the
beginning of the meeting, and not delay his fellow members.
"I hope for the day when every Trustee, unless prevented by ill-
ness, will attend every meeting of the Board of Trustees.
"I hope for the day when Horticulture will have the courage to
refuse to print any advertisement or notice of any horticultural product
or plant which its editors believe exaggerated, untrue or misleading.
"I hope for the day when the writers of thoughtful and helpful
articles in Horticulture will be as highly paid as the authors of such
articles by any other horticultural magazine in the world.
A PRINCELY GIFT AND A TRAGEDY 7
"I hope for the day when every exhibitor, in simple justice to his
co-exhibitors, to the judges and to the Society, will have his exhibits
absolutely ready at the hour set for the clearing of the hall, so that
exhibits can be seen while they are perfectly fresh.
"I hope for the day when the vegetable and fruit growers will show
their best products — as they did 50 years ago — and when, after
such showing, they will feel repaid for coming, both by the visitors and
by the prizes they win.
"I hope for the day when each Spring we shall see great clusters of
blooms of flowering crabs, covering acres along the railroads of this
"I hope for the day very soon when we shall have constantly on the
road in the open season under an assistant Librarian, a traveling horti-
cultural library of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, in a large,
low automobile truck containing a really large, live, working and con-
sulting Library of horticultural books going from one town to another
where such libraries do not and cannot exist, stopping for a few days
to give people an opportunity to consult the Library."
The changes in the By-Laws to which the President referred
had been made after several meetings of a special committee of
the Trustees to consider this action. The changes required that
the annual meeting should be held the first Monday in May at
3 p.m. and that the Officers and Trustees elected should take
office immediately, the inaugural meeting of former years being
given up. They provided for the election of a President to serve
one year, two Vice Presidents to serve two years but to be elected
alternately, the junior becoming senior at the beginning of his
second year, the former senior becoming junior again if reelected.
Five Trustees were to be elected each year with at least one new
member elected to the Board at each annual meeting, thus bring-
ing a new face and perhaps more than one to the Trustees' table
each Spring. Nominations were to be made by a committee consist-
ing of those Trustees who had more than one but less than two
years to serve. 1
That change in the By-Laws which combined the annual meet-
ing and the inaugural meeting and fixed the date as the first
*As this committee comes into being automatically and as the expiration of
the term of each Trustee is indicated in the Year Book, it becomes easy to
determine the personnel of the next Nominating Committee.
8 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
Monday in May was adopted largely through the efforts of Mr.
Wilson, it being his last major contribution to the good of the
Society, as his untimely death came later in the year. Under the
old plan the Exhibition Committee, which arranged the great
Spring Flower Show, was likely to have its membership changed
the first of January. This meant that one committee might make
up the schedule and perfect the other arrangements for the Show,
while a different committee, in part at least, might be faced with
the task of carrying out decisions which it had not had a part in
formulating. Under the amended By-Laws the committee ap-
pointed immediately after the annual meeting would be able to
see the Spring Show through.
At this meeting a letter from the President, Albert C. Burrage,
was read by the Treasurer, John S. Ames, offering the Society
the sum of $50,000, the income from $30,000 of this amount to
be used exclusively for the purchase of books and pamphlets re-
lating directly or indirectly to horticulture. The income from
the amount remaining was to be used exclusively for the purchase
of a Gold Vase to be awarded by the Trustees of the Society at a
meeting in December of each year for the most outstanding ex-
hibit in any of the Shows of the Massachusetts Horticultural
Society held during the year.
No sooner had the applause occasioned by Mr. Burrage's
princely gift died away than it was rekindled by Mr. Ames when
he read another letter, this one from William N. Craig, offering
the sum of $2,500 to be used for increasing interest in lilies, the
income to be expended for premiums, lectures or for recognizing
in some suitable manner the work of hybridists and collectors,
as well as for good culture in garden or greenhouse.
With business conditions poor, the Trustees decided to hold the
1930 Spring Show in Horticultural Hall, with the garden clubs
occupying the Lecture Hall. All the halls were well filled with
exhibits and the attendance was sufficiently large to give a profit
Following this Show the Trustees took important action on a
matter which had long been discussed by the private gardeners
— the awards which they should receive at the various exhibitions.
What had come to them in the past as a reward for the extra
A PRINCELY GIFT AND A TRAGEDY 9
work required of them had depended on the generosity or fair-
ness of their employers or on what the Prize Committee spe-
cifically voted them. Henceforth they were to be rewarded on the
basis of the awards to their employers. Thus they were to know
in advance what to expect from the Society if the exhibits they
set up were awarded cups or medals. The details were to be
printed in the schedule, and the compensation to the gardeners by
this arrangement was to be in cash. The plan was satisfactory to
employers and gardeners alike, but it increased somewhat the
Society's appropriation for prizes. 2
Loring Underwood, who became a Trustee in 1927, passed
away January 13, at the age of 55. Mr. Underwood was a well
known landscape architect, an author and lecturer, and an active
representative of his profession on the Board of Trustees. Joseph
E. Chandler was elected a Trustee to fill the vacancy caused by
Mr. Underwood's death.
Dr. Wilson's tragic death and that of his wife came on Wed-
nesday, October 15, when his automobile skidded and plunged
over a forty-foot embankment near the city of Worcester. The
couple were returning from a visit to their daughter Mrs. Muriel
Slate at Geneva, N. Y., where Professor Slate is connected with
the State Experimental Station. A double funeral was held the
following Sunday in Trinity Church, Boston, with a large attend-
ance of prominent men and women. The bodies were cremated
at Forest Hills Cemetery and the ashes interred in Mt. Royal
Cemetery in Montreal, Canada, of which Dr. Wilson's close
friend, W. Ormiston Roy, was in charge.
Dr. Wilson was born in England in 1876, educated at Kew, and
spent some twenty years of his life traveling in China, Japan,
Formosa, Korea, South Africa, Australia, India and other coun-
tries in search of plant material or on various scientific missions.
All except his first two trips to China were made in the interest
of the Arnold Arboretum. He was assistant to Professor Charles
S. Sargent and succeeded him as the executive in charge of the
Dr. Wilson was very active in the affairs of the Massachusetts
2 The details of this plan, still in effect, will be found in the Society's Rule
Book, available to all.
io TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
Horticultural Society, being Chairman of the Exhibition Commit-
tee and the Committee on Lectures and Publications. He was
Advisory Editor of Horticulture and contributed frequently to its
columns. His knowledge of plant material was profound and
based largely on personal observation. His memory was almost
uncanny and his ability to interpret scientific matters in the
language of the layman gave his books and magazine articles a
human touch missing in the writings of many scientists. Many
awards had come to Dr. Wilson in recognition of his services,
among them the Victoria Medal of Honour, the Veitch Memorial
Medal, the George Robert White Medal of Honor, the Geoffrey
St. Hilaire Gold Medal and the Rhododendron Society's Cup.
Dr. Wilson, who liked to be called "Keeper" of the Arnold
Arboretum, using an English appellation, was often referred to
as "Chinese" Wilson because of the long years he spent in the
Chinese hinterlands. Some of his adventures, including his dis-
covery of the Regal Lily at the expense of a broken leg, are
recorded in his books, but he was too modest to indulge in heroics.
His books contribute splendidly to horticultural literature but
unfortunately have not had the circulation they deserve. Some
of them might well be reprinted. Dr. Wilson was a Fellow of the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an honorary M.A. of
Harvard University and as recently as the previous June had been
given the D.Sc. degree by Trinity College, Hartford, Conn. He
ranked high among the plant hunters of all time, but he was a
scientist, too, and an excellent administrator.
William Penn Rich, for twenty-one years, until 1923, Secretary
and Librarian of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, died
Sunday, November 1, at his home in Chelsea. Mr. Rich was a
member of the New England Botanical Club and much interested
in the school garden work fostered by the Horticultural Society.
For a year after his resignation Mr. Rich came to the Hall regu-
larly to help the new Secretary in picking up the threads of the
Society's activities. Suitable resolutions on his death were adopted
by the Board of Trustees and spread on the records.
In the course of the year the Library staff began the work of
indexing certain magazines to make possible easier access to
valuable information which otherwise might remain unused. Mr.
A PRINCELY GIFT AND A TRAGEDY n
Kidder, then Chairman of the Library Committee, felt that the
Library had undertaken nothing so ambitious or so fundamental
in a quarter of a century.
Fred A. Wilson of Nahant was a Trustee of the Society for
several years and the Year Book of 1930 contained a remarkable
paper written by him entitled "The Influence of Certain Eco-
nomic Plants" which has often been reread and commented on.
This Year Book also contained a paper, "Mutations and Varia-
tions in the Gladiolus" by Eugene N. Fischer. It was illustrated
with twelve drawings by Mr. Fischer, who was an artist, and
received much attention. Mr. Fischer, a modest, retiring man, was
an exhibitor for many years.
At the 1930 Gladiolus Show the first award from the William
N. Craig Fund was made, the recipient being Mrs. E. V. Hart-
ford of Newport, R. I., for a splendid exhibit of lilies staged by
her gardener, Joseph Winsock.
Mrs. Robert Stone, wife of one of the Trustees, began offering
a prize through the Society in 1930 as an incentive to the making
of back-yard gardens in a poor section of the city not far from
Horticultural Hall. The prize, $100, was in memory of Galen L.
Stone. The Secretary and his assistant, Paul Frese, gave much
attention to this project, collaborating with the Boston Tubercu-
losis Association and the Better Homes Association. The neigh-
borhood in which the work was started might be called a slum
area. Narrow alleys through which trucks could not pass were
cluttered with refuse and back yards were piled high with mate-
rial which should have been carted away but which remained as
a dangerous nuisance.
The transformation brought about even the first year was
astonishing. Many tenants found a way to clean up their yards
and to plant them with annual flowers and with vines. Mrs. Stone
and the Secretary helped distribute prizes at a largely attended
meeting in the Fall. This undertaking has been carried on con-
tinuously since this small beginning, with highly gratifying re-
"Miss Bernice Billings of the Boston Tuberculosis Association has been the
guiding spirit of this work and her efforts eventually won for her a special award
from the Massachusetts Federation of Garden Clubs.
12 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
The George Robert White Medal of Honor for 1930 was
awarded to David G. Grandison Fairchild of Washington, D. C.
Mr. Fairchild had had a long career with the Department of
Agriculture, having been in charge of foreign explorations since
The Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal was awarded to William
Anderson, Superintendent of the Bayard Thayer estate in South
Lancaster, where he had raised many thousand kalmias and
Taxus media Thayerae. He had succeeded in naturalizing acres
of Scotch heather and had proved himself a skillful propagator.
He served the Society in various capacities for many years.
Carl Purdy of Ukiah, California, received the Thomas Roland
Medal. Mr. Purdy was well known for his work in the introduc-
tion of Pacific Coast plants to the Eastern States and to Europe.
Mr. Purdy came East to give a lecture in Horticultural Hall on
November 6, and the Medal was presented to him by the Secre-
tary at that time.
At a meeting of the Board of Trustees in December, 1930, it
was voted to award the Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase to Mr. Bur-
rage himself for the magnificent orchid exhibit which he staged
at the Spring Show. At the same meeting the Society's large Gold
Medal was awarded to Mrs. Catherine S. Eastwood of Attleboro
for her work in the development of school gardens. Mrs. East-
wood began this work in 1893 and conducted it every Summer
for thirty-seven years with the exception of one year spent in
Europe. The Deerfield Street garden in Boston, managed by her
for the Women's Municipal League, had exhibited many times
in Horticultural Hall and in 1930 received first prize for its
garden display at the Children's Show.
Many parts of the state were visited by the Committee on Gar-
dens in 1930. Faulkner Farm, the estate of Mr. and Mrs. Edward
D. Brandegee, was chosen for the Society's Gold Medal, a natural
choice, for it was considered one of the best developed and most
interesting estates in Greater Boston.
"Stonover," a beautiful estate in Lenox, won a Silver Medal
for Miss Mary Parsons. It was a place which had been developed
along natural lines with many magnificent trees.
Winthrop Ames was given a Silver Medal for his estate in
A PRINCELY GIFT AND A TRAGEDY 13
North Easton called "Queset" from the Indian name of a stream
running through it. Among its features were topiary figures pro-
duced by training the small-leaved euonymus creeper over wire
frames. The inner frames had rusted away but the interlaced
vines continued to support themselves in the original shapes.
It had been unusual up to that time for a garden medal to be
awarded to an institution, but the Garden Committee felt, in
1930, that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology had done
a notable piece of work in the landscaping and planting of the
grounds around the house of the President, on the banks of the
Charles River in Cambridge. It was decided to recognize this
work by the award of a Bronze Medal. The planting, largely of
evergreens, had been done so successfully and with such skill
that it could be pointed out as a model for similar work on the
grounds of other educational institutions. Miss Mabel Keyes
Babcock of Boston was the landscape architect.
Other awards included a Bronze Medal to Mrs. Gertrude I.
Titus for a hillside garden in Swampscott; a Garden Certificate
to Mrs. Tracey Eustis of Marblehead for a unique garden at a
summer home; a Garden Certificate to Mrs. George O. Forbes
for a summer garden in North Egremont. The Porch Fund cre-
ated by Mr. Burrage in 1929 was drawn upon for a Gold Medal
award to Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Robinson in Needham for a porch
built in 1930 and facing an attractive garden. The porch was
made by replacing a series of windows from which the garden
had previously been viewed.
John S. Ames, the Society's very efficient Treasurer, had a
satisfactory report to make at the end of the year. The income
had exceeded expenditures by $2,918.86, and this sum was trans-
ferred to the earned income account. It included $1,477 trans-
ferred from Horticulture's account to the Society's general in-
come. The sum of $5,000 from the Spring Show profit had been
merged with the Show Insurance Fund. Because of many com-
plaints the Trustees had voted to discontinue the practice of
opening the Hall for rummage sales.
This was the last year the Society was to operate under the
rules adopted in 1904, which called for an annual meeting in
November and an inaugural meeting the following January.
i 9 3 1— PASSING OF A GREAT BENEFACTOR
THE Society suffered a severe loss for the third successive
year when its President, Albert C. Burrage, passed away
suddenly at his summer home in Manchester. This was in
June, 1 93 1, shortly after he had been elected President for the
eleventh time, having held the office for a longer period than
any previous President in the Society's history. When he assumed
office the Society had only about 900 members and when he died
it had almost 7,000, the largest number in its history and the
largest of any similar organization in this country. All the ac-
tivities of the Society were developed to a remarkable degree in
his administration. He was President when the Society acquired
Horticulture and did much to aid in the expansion of that publi-
cation. He gave freely of his time and wealth in the development
of the exhibitions of the Society, his own exhibits being of a
character which won recognition throughout the world. He was
largely responsible for a great orchid exhibition in March, 1920.
On that occasion his own exhibit occupied an entire floor of one
hall and was arranged to reproduce natural conditions.
In May, 192 1, he put on an exhibition of wild flowers and
ferns which has never been equalled in this country. The large
hall became a mountain gorge, at one end of which a waterfall
tumbled and dashed over its rocky bed into a large shady pool,
from which a brook flowed under a rustic bridge and on through
the glade. Nearly 83,000 people saw this exhibition — a figure
never before approached by the Society.
In 192 1 Mr. Burrage was given the George Robert White
Medal of Honor "in recognition of his conspicuous services to
horticulture by the establishment in Beverly of the greatest col-
lection of Orchids the new world has yet seen; for his skillful and
energetic management of the Society and for his labors to in-
crease the love, protection, and cultivation of New England wild
A PRINCELY GIFT AND A TRAGEDY 15
flowers and ferns through his remarkable exhibition of these
Mr. Burrage had a prominent part in the great orchid show
which was held in 1923 with the Massachusetts Horticultural
Society acting as host to the American Orchid Society. Mr. Bur-
rage filled the large hall with contributions of such supreme merit
and educational value that Gurney Wilson of the Royal Horti-
cultural Society, who acted as one of the judges, returned to
England with a report which won that Society's Gold Medal for
Mr. Burrage, the first time it had ever been awarded for an
Mr. Burrage had an important part in making the Centennial
Exhibition of the Society in Mechanics Building in 1929.
He, of course, had many diversified interests, being connected
with many business enterprises. Before turning to horticulture as
a hobby he built up one of the finest private collections of miner-
als to be found in America. In his later years, however, the Mass-
achusetts Horticultural Society was very dear to his heart and
received a large amount of his time and attention, the results
being seen in its greatly increased membership and prosperity.
Mr. Burrage's gift of $50,000 to the Society for books and a
Gold Vase has already been noted, as well as the Porch Fund
established in 1929. The Albert Cameron Burrage Fund of $1,200
for promoting the cranberry industry in Massachusetts was estab-
lished in 1920. In his will he bequeathed his Library of 2,000
books, largely dealing with orchids, to the Society. A committee
of Trustees, with William C. Endicott as Chairman, was ap-
pointed to draw up resolutions on the loss of Mr. Burrage to the
Anticipating the need of additional Library space in view of
the books bequeathed to the Society by Mr. Burrage, a new
room of ample proportions was constructed on the top floor of
the building. It was an undertaking of some importance, for
building regulations required the installation of several long iron
girders to support the concrete floor. These alterations cost about
$4,500, this amount being taken from the profits of the Spring
Show. As a matter of fact, Mr. Burrage's Library was not to be
received for several years, but in the meantime abundant use
1 6 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
for the new room was found. It served particularly well for
storing the Society's very complete collection of trade catalogues,
a collection constantly growing.
Several important improvements to the building were made
during Mr. Burrage's term of office. One involved removing a
circular iron staircase which led from an ante-room behind the
Lecture Hall on the street floor to a room just above, which was
used originally as a kitchen, with dumb waiters for sending food
down. This kitchen as such had long been abandoned but was
discovered to have been used on occasions for making alcoholic
beverages by someone who had access to it, but all unknown of
course to the officials of the Society. Mr. Burrage proposed that
this room be connected by a short flight of stairs with a room
on the floor above adjoining the Library, so that it might be
used as a Library annex, accommodating large number of seldom-
used books. This was done, to the great benefit of the Library.
Another improvement was the construction of a broad stairway
from the main exhibition hall to the basement hall, thus making
the latter more accessible and increasing the exhibition space.
Mr. Burrage himself paid for this work.
What had been known as the document room on the mezzanine
floor was transformed into a large committee room by laying a
new floor, constructing a cement tile-like ceiling and hanging
wide folding doors. The documents which had been housed there
were transferred to a long, narrow room partitioned off from the
second-floor storage room, where they were much more accessible.
A long room which the Secretary had been occupying was
divided to make two rooms, one of which was assigned to the
Secretary's assistant, while the other was taken over by the
Wild Flower Preservation Society of which Mrs. S. V. R. Crosby
was President, with Miss Lilly Tobey as her assistant. An unused
air shaft adjoining this room was made into a large supply
closet, thus adding to the facilities of this very active organiza-
tion. The Secretary of the Society then took up quarters in a
large, square room which had originally been assigned to the
Treasurer of the Society but which was seldom used.
Other changes were made at the rear of the building on the
second floor to provide facilities for a business staff which had
PASSING OF A GREAT BENEFACTOR 17
become necessary with the rapid growth of the Society. Finally
a passenger elevator was installed, much smaller than desired
but limited in size because the only space available for it was
also limited. This is the only answer that can be given to criticism
of the elevator service sometimes voiced.
Now to turn to other matters of interest in 1931. The Society
went back to Mechanics Building for the Spring Flower Show,
the dates being March 1 7-2 1 . It was a well attended Show and
made a profit of $21,604.32 in spite of adverse circumstances.
In his report on this Show the Chairman of the Prize Committee,
Samuel J. Goddard, said, "Never before has the Society con-
ducted an exhibition that covered such a variety of displays with
choice material in orchids, tropical and cool greenhouse plants,
wild and woodland scenes, Spring and Summer gardens, Alpine
and rock gardens, along with artistic and tasteful arrangements
which were outstanding. " These encomiums must have been de-
served, for Mr. Goddard had had long experience in show work
and was not given to exaggeration. It was agreed that the roses
were better than usual and the carnations were shown in con-
tainers other than vases, thus falling in with a new vogue in
the display of these flowers.
A plan for dividing the responsibility for the Dahlia Show
with the New England Dahlia Society and for the Gladiolus Show
with the New England Gladiolus Society was now being tried
out. It worked well and later was extended by turning over these
shows and the Iris Show to the interested societies, the Horti-
cultural Society giving them all its facilities.
The Autumn Show assumed new proportions in 1931, with
chrysanthemums and carnations appearing in greater numbers.
However, the President's Cup went to Dr. Walter G. Kendall for
a unique display of hardy grapes, said by many persons to sur-
pass anything of the kind they had previously seen in the Hall.
Incidentally, the award of a President's Cup was now restricted
to the Spring and Autumn Shows and later was to be confined
to the Spring Show alone.
An innovation at the Exhibition of the Products of Children's
Gardens was the showing of films in the lower hall while the
other halls were cleared for judging. This plan provided enter-
18 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
tainment for the children during the tedious waiting period and
prevented the expenditure of their abundant energies in other
ways. The plan was so successful that it became standard pro-
This was the first year in which the annual meeting was held
in May, as required by the changes in the By-Laws, and the elec-
tion of officers became somewhat involved. Mr. Burrage was
elected President, his term to run from December 31, 1931, to
May 2, 1932. Oaks Ames became a Vice President, his term to
run from December 31, 1931, to May 1, 1933. Five Trustees
were chosen to serve from December 31, 1931, to May 7, 1934.
They were Mrs. S. V. R. Crosby, Walter Hunnewell, Robert G.
Stone, Hugh Bancroft, and George Butterworth.
Earlier in the year Ernest B. Dane had been selected by the
Board to fill out the unexpired term of Dr. Wilson. When Mr.
Webster became President, following the death of Mr. Burrage,
Walter Hunnewell, who was chosen to succeed him as Vice Presi-
dent, was succeeded on the Board by Albert C. Burrage, Jr.
At an important meeting of the new Board of Trustees it was
voted on recommendation of the Committee on Exhibitions that
the Secretary be given an assistant whose work should deal
primarily with the Shows, giving the Secretary more time for
executive duties, which were becoming increasingly heavy. James
Greehan was appointed to the position. Mr. Greehan had been
with Lord & Burnham greenhouse builders, and was well known
to the trade.
For several years a parcel of land at the corner of Brookline
and Longwood avenues had been held for the benefit of the
Society by certain individuals and estates with the thought in
mind that a new building might be erected on it, but this idea
having been abandoned, the land was sold in 1931. A special
committee appointed to report on the subject had recommended
that the Society remain in its present quarters, inasmuch as they
occupied a superior location and should meet the needs of the
members and the public for many years. It was pointed out that
the theatre next door would doubtless be removed at some future
time, giving way to an extension of the park facing the First
Albert C. Burr age, President from 1Q21 to 1931
Edwin S. Webster, President from 1931 to 1Q44
PASSING OF A GREAT BENEFACTOR 19
Church of Christ, Scientist, and maintained by that organization,
thus greatly improving the position of Horticultural Hall.
The Library was provided with new lights in 1931, while new
display racks made the magazines more accessible to readers.
The number of libraries and institutions with which information
was being exchanged had grown in two years from sixteen to
forty-eight. The most significant of the new contacts was an
invitation from the Library of Congress to be represented in its
Union Catalogues, a record of the location of books of value to
students. A new and long-needed shelf list of the Library was
It was interesting to find that Horticulture's circulation con-
tinued to grow in spite of poor business conditions and that
neither the New York or Pennsylvania Societies had fallen be-
hind in the number of their subscriptions. However, it became
necessary to reduce the size of the paper because of the shrinkage
in advertising receipts. 1
A new bulletin on begonias by Mrs. H. H. Buxton of Peabody
was issued in 1931, the most complete treatise on these plants
which had been published to that time in this country. The
Society's bulletins had a ready sale at the Flower Shows and
aided in disseminating much important information.
The Society's large Gold Medal was awarded from the Hunne-
well Fund to Mr. and Mrs. John S. Ames for their estate in
North Easton, notable for its great trees, sweeping lawns, beauti-
ful vistas and for magnificent planting along the banks of a
pond, where azaleas in variety were used exceptionally well.
Special attention was called to the greenhouses and to Mr. Ames'
conspicuous success in the cultivation of Kurume azaleas under
glass. Mr. Ames was the first person to exhibit these azaleas in
the eastern states, plants having been sent to him from Kurume
in Japan by Mr. Wilson.
A Silver Medal went to Mrs. J. R. McGinley for her seaside
garden in Manchester and another to Mr. and Mrs. Geoffrey
1 In 1925 a working arrangement had been made with the Pennsylvania Horti-
cultural Society and the Horticultural Society of New York whereby all the
members of each Society received Horticulture.
20 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
Whitney of Milton for a large and beautiful garden at their
Summer home in Wood's Hole on Cape Cod, where Mr. Whitney
made a specialty of yellow roses. Garden Certificates were
awarded to Charles D. Armstrong for a garden in North Center-
ville which included a large collection of specimen box plants,
probably the largest in New England; to Archibald Blanchard
of Nahant for a garden featuring roses and to Mr. and Mrs.
Charles A. Proctor of Swampscott for an original and very suc-
cessful use of annuals.
A special award of a Silver Medal was made by the Trustees
to the Cambridge [Massachusetts] Plant Club "in recognition of
the fact that it is the oldest garden club in America." The first
meeting of this club was held on January 20, 1889, at the home of
Mrs. John Hayes, with twenty members present. This award re-
sulted in a controversy which still continues. The Ladies Garden
Club of Athens, Ga., has repeatedly laid claim to the honor of
being the country's oldest garden club with a continuous existence.
In fact, it is so credited by the Garden Club of America, notwith-
standing that it did not hold a meeting until 1892.
Dr. Frederick V. Coville of the Department of Agriculture in
Washington was awarded the George Robert White Medal of
Honor. Taming the wild blueberries which had grown for years
on the pine barrens of New Jersey was the accomplishment
which had won him fame, for he had helped to create a new and
highly important industry. He had done equally valuable work in
the West, however, having developed a method of grazing control
in the national forests which permitted their economic utilization,
yielding as high as $42,000,000 a year to the government for
The Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal was voted to William
Henry Judd, an English-born gardener who had succeeded Jack-
son Dawson as chief propagator at the Arnold Arboretum after
acting as Mr. Dawson's assistant. It devolved upon him to
raise and distribute much of the material obtained by Dr. Wilson
J. D. Eisle of Philadelphia received the Thomas Roland Medal.
He was long connected with the Henry A. Dreer Nurseries at
PASSING OF A GREAT BENEFACTOR 21
Riverton, N. J. and was responsible for bringing many new
plants into cultivation. The new William N. Craig Fund was
drawn upon for the large Gold Medal of the Society bestowed
upon Miss Isabella Preston of the Experimental Farm, Ottawa,
Canada, particularly for her lily breeding work.
Mrs. Edward Gilchrist Low of Brookline won a special Gold
Medal award in recognition of her achievement in founding the
Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture for Women at
Groton, Mass. This school educated a number of well known
landscape architects and grew to have considerable influence.
The porch competition inaugurated by Mr. Burrage continued
to attract attention and the medal award for 193 1 was made to
Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Goodridge of East Milton. At the December
meeting of the Trustees the Albert C. Burrage $1,000 Gold Vase
was awarded to Bobbink & Atkins for what was considered the
most outstanding exhibit at any of the Society's Shows in 1931,
a splendid rose garden set up at the great Spring Flower Show.
Three lectures were given by the Society in the course of the
year, one by Clarence Elliott, a well known English horticulturist,
one by R. M. Cooley of Silverton, Oregon, and one by Professor
A. B. Stout of the New York Botanical Garden. It had not yet
seemed wise to resume the practice of conducting a regular lec-
This had been a satisfactory year from the Treasurer's point
of view in spite of poor business conditions. The Spring Flower
Show had made a profit of over $21,000 as has been noted,
the Mt. Auburn Cemetery management had sent a check for
$1,943.91, Horticulture had turned in a profit of $1,477.51 and
running expenses had been normal except for certain improve-
ments. Thus $2,918.86 could be transferred to the earned income
Before the end of the year, however, the Trustees voted to
part with two of its assets — the Herbarium which the former
Secretary, William P. Rich, had assembled over a series of years,
and the Herbarium which George E. Davenport had given the
Society in 1875. The latter Herbarium included 116 species and
many varieties of North American ferns, with a complete cata-
22 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
logue. It was given by the Society to the Gray Herbarium, while
the Rich collection went to the Boston Society of Natural History.
The Trustees felt that these Herbaria could be displayed to
better advantage by these institutions than at Horticultural Hall.
1932— THE SOCIETY WEATHERS A DEPRESSION
EDWIN S. WEBSTER, who succeeded Mr. Burrage as
President, paid his predecessor a warm tribute at the an-
nual meeting the first Monday of May, 1932, and the
members present stood to honor his memory. The plan of combin-
ing the annual and inaugural meetings, carried out the previous
year for the first time, was found very satisfactory, as Mr.
Webster remarked. In the course of his address the President
pointed out that the Society had suffered very little from the
then current depression. There had been a steady increase in
membership, with a total enrollment of 7,308 men and women
at the beginning of May, representing many states. To be sure,
the Society had not escaped the effects of business conditions al-
together, for there had been a slight drop in the revenue from
investments, but this loss had been largely overcome by receipts
from membership dues, which amounted to $12,112.50. Still, the
President thought it might be wise to charge an initiation fee of
one dollar. Under the constitution the dues themselves could not
be more than two dollars a year. 1 Mr. Webster was reelected at
this meeting, while Walter Hunnewell was elected a Vice Presi-
When making his report as Chairman of the Library Com-
mittee Mr. Kidder noted that Mr. Burrage had bequeathed his
horticultural library to the Society, but that it had not been re-
ceived at that date. 2
The Chairman stated in his report that the Library had been
in the habit of paying postage on the books mailed out to mem-
bers, but that the cost had increased to such an extent that the
1 Later the constitution was changed, as will be noted, and Mr. Webster's sug-
gestion was not put into effect.
'Several packages of books were soon delivered, but Mrs. Burrage desired to
keep the greater part of the library for the time being in the beautiful room
built for it in her Manchester home.
24 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
Library Committee had voted to ask borrowers to pay the trans-
portation charges both ways. The response had been excellent,
he said, and the savings considerable.
Three amendments to the By Laws were adopted at the 1932
Annual Meeting which in effect were as follows :
Each member became entitled to at least one free admission
to every exhibition of the Society under rules to be established
by the Trustees.
The Committee on Exhibitions was to consist of at least two
Trustees and three other members of the Society, who might or
might not be Trustees.
The Committee on Prizes was to consist of two Trustees and
three other members of the Society who might or might not be
This was in line with the efforts being made to do what prob-
ably would be called today streamlining all the Exhibitions. The
fact was being realized that the Spring Exhibition in particular
had come to be an enterprise of huge proportions, requiring great
concentration of skill and energy and the application of thorough-
going business principles. Those in charge wisely agreed to work
for an ever increasing degree of "finish," to use a technical term,
meaning the most careful attention to details in the setting up
of the exhibits. With the goal of near-perfection always being
kept in mind, the Boston Show has come to be known as the out-
standing exhibition of the country in this respect.
Business conditions were such that the Trustees deemed it wise
to hold the Spring Exhibition in Horticultural Hall rather than
risk the heavy expense involved in going to Mechanics Building.
The crowds which came to the Show assumed such proportions
that the doors had to be closed on several occasions. The total
attendance ran to 41,000, with a profit well above $15,000. All
this was gratifying but the Trustees and the Exhibition Com-
mittee in particular felt strongly that it was due the public to
provide more commodious quarters for the Spring Exhibitions.
Some attempts on the part of persons outside the Society to
share in the profits of a great Show in the Spring were reported,
with the possibility of a rival exhibition being attempted. The
THE SOCIETY WEATHERS A DEPRESSION 25
Committee expressed itself as firm in the belief that the Show
should be handled exclusively by the Society and certain in-
quiries indicated that most of the prominent exhibitors would
stand by the Society in this matter. Even the advertising was
kept in Society hands at this show, being handled by the secre-
tary, with a considerable saving.
The Spring Exhibition was pronounced one of the most beauti-
ful ever held in Horticultural Hall with a finish and artistic touch
seldom achieved. Mrs. Albert C. Burrage was awarded the Albert
C. Burrage Gold Vase for a remarkable tropical garden with
orchids. Actually this award was made at the end of the year,
the award being given annually for the best exhibit at any of the
year's Shows. The President's Cup was awarded at the Spring
Show to Will C. Curtis and Ormond Hamilton for a wild garden.
One advantage which came from holding the Spring Show in
Horticultural Hall was found in the fact that it introduced many
persons to the Library and to the Society itself. The Library
was kept open each evening during the Show and the number
of visitors was encouragingly large. Furthermore, the number
of books loaned increased from a total 680 for the month as
against 442 in 1931, when the Show was held elsewhere.
The Fall Show was omitted in 1932, largely for financial
reasons, but the Gardeners' and Florists' Club of Boston felt
that a substitute Show was needed and asked for the privilege
of trying its hand at such an Exhibition. Permission was given,
of course, and an excellent Show, although largely commercial,
was staged under the management of William N. Craig, a very
active member of the Society, a one-time Trustee and a great
The 1932 convention of the National Council of State Garden
Club Federations was held in Boston and many of the visitors
spent some time at Horticultural Hall. The meetings were held
at the Copley Plaza, with the Secretary of the Society as one of
An important addition to the records of the Society was made
in 1932, when Mrs. Florence Mayo, an assistant to the Secretary,
assembled all the available facts about the portraits and other
26 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
paintings on display in the building and also about the busts,
most of the latter being in the Trustees' room. This information
will be found in the appendix of this book.
The portraits in the upper corridor are, with one exception,
those of one-time Presidents, which is the reason, of course, that
this corridor is often referred to as the Presidents' Gallery. As
stated not all the portraits are those of Presidents. The largest and
one of the best is that of H. H. Hunnewell, who served as Trustee
and Treasurer, which hangs in a conspicuous place in the second-
floor corridor. Mr. Hunnewell was one of the Society's important
benefactors. Arrangements were made in 1932 for hanging the
portraits of Thomas Roland and Ernest H. Wilson. The first was
purchased through the cooperation of friends and the second by
a contribution from the Horticultural Club of Boston, of which
organization both men were prominent members. The Horti-
cultural Club had previously presented the Society the portrait
of John K. M. L. Farquhar, at one time President of the Society
as well as a leading member of the club. The new portraits were
hung in the Secretary's office.
The unemployment situation as it affected private gardeners
was brought to the Society's attention in 1932. This situation
resulted from the necessity experienced by many estate owners
of reducing expenses. It was agreed by the Trustees to publish
the advertisements of gardeners out of employment without
charge and soon they ran to two columns in the magazine Horti-
culture. The Society also undertook to be of service to certain
groups of unemployed in the ranks of architects and civil en-
gineers. Not much was said about this work but it helped meet
the immediate needs of these men and their families.
W. Albert Manda of South Orange, N. J. was awarded the
George Robert White Medal of Honor in 1932, an award which
was highly commended, for Mr. Manda was one of the best loved
men in the field of horticulture. He held membership in thirty-
four horticultural and scientific organizations. Before going to
New Jersey he was in charge of the Botanic Gardens at Harvard
University for five years. In his lifetime he won over 2,000 prizes,
including 400 cups and many medals, all leading up to this
THE SOCIETY WEATHERS A DEPRESSION 27
award of the George Robert White Medal. Word came in the
midst of the Spring Show in Boston a few months later that he
had been killed by falling from a train between South Orange
and New York.
The Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal was bestowed on
Charles O. Dexter of Sandwich for his work in hybridizing and
propagating azaleas and other rhododendrons. Although Mr.
Dexter was strictly an amateur his enthusiasm knew no bounds.
Most of the time he could spare from his work as a mill executive
was spent at his Sandwich farm, where he built up a plant collec-
tion which attracted hundreds of visiting experts. 3
The Thomas Roland Medal which went to Dr. Walter G.
Kendall of Atlantic was only one of the dozens which had been
awarded to him in a long life time, but the most highly prized,
representing the highest honor bestowed on him. Dr. Kendall, a
dentist, was another amateur to achieve conspicuous success in
horticulture. For forty years he gave much of his time to the
cultivation of grapes on a large scale, although not commercially,
for all his fruit was given away. Dr. Kendall's vineyard was in
what is known geologically as a "kettle hole," which was a fea-
ture of his place, and he experimented with every variety
suggested for this section. The results were shown at many exhibi-
tions in Horticultural Hall.
Members of the Garden Committee, of which Mrs. Bayard
Thayer was Chairman, made many visits in 1932 and expanded
the committee's work by introducing Blue Ribbon Certificates,
which were considered to have somewhat higher value as awards
than the Society's regular Certificates. 4
The complete list of garden awards follows :
A Silver Medal to Mrs. Edwin S. Webster for a beautiful and
outstanding rose garden on the shores of Buzzards Bay at Quis-
sett, a garden showing the perfection of culture.
A Silver Medal to Dudley L. Pickman of Bedford for a Spring
8 Unfortunately, the men who became owners of the estate after Mr. Dexter's
death did not maintain it as he had done and the collection was gradually dis-
* These Blue Ribbon Certificates were continued for several years and then
disappeared from the records.
28 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
bog garden on the banks of the Sudbury River showing great
knowledge and skill in the cultivation of native shrubs and
A special Silver Medal to Mrs. Theodore E. Brown of Milton
for a superbly grown planting of flowering and fruiting shrubs
of unusual excellence and in great variety.
A Blue Ribbon Garden Certificate to Mrs. Holden McGinley
of Milton for a garden of great charm and restraint planted in an
unusually interesting manner.
A Blue Ribbon Garden Certificate to Mrs. George R. Fearing
of Westwood for a courtyard and rose garden.
A Blue Ribbon Garden Certificate to the Park Department of
the City of Boston for the new rose garden in Fenway Park.
A Garden Certificate to Horace C. Baker of Maiden for a
unique garden skilfully planted on a ledge and including a sur-
prisingly large number of rare and unusual plants.
A Garden Certificate to Miss Cornelia Conway Parker of
South Lancaster for a small intimate garden spot planted with
restraint and charm.
A Garden Certificate to Mrs. George L. Hyde of Swampscott
for a well cultivated personal garden.
Another former President and long an active member of the
Society, Henry Pickering Walcott, passed away November n,
1932, at the age of 93. He was prominent in many lines of en-
deavor, as a lengthy tribute by Nathaniel T. Kidder in the Year
Book for 1933 attests. He was elected a life member of the So-
ciety in 1876 and served on the Library Committee for ten years.
Dr. Walcott became President of the Society in 1886. During
his administration a plan for a building in the Public Gardens
was favored by the Society, but not by the city fathers, much to
the doctor's disappointment.
The Benevolent Fraternity Fruit and Flower Mission, which
had been under the Society's wing for several years, with head-
quarters in the basement of Horticultural Hall, had more than
the usual number of calls to meet in 1932 and expressed its
gratitude for more than 1 ,400 bushels of produce salvaged by the
Society for an emergency bureau, upon whose lists were 1,500
registrants — unemployed architects and engineers. The annual
THE SOCIETY WEATHERS A DEPRESSION 29
1 report of the Mission showed that 141 hospitals, institutions and
individual homes were reached with flowers after the Spring
Show alone. This was set down as the most successful year in the
history of the organization, which had been formed sixty-four
years before in the basement of the Hollis Street Church.
The year had been reasonably satisfactory from the Treasur-
er's viewpoint. There had been a profit of $2,527.20, with Horti-
culture contributing $996.48. The Show profit was $17,245.23,
as noted. The Show Insurance Fund was standing at $35,000.
1933— STEADY GROWTH THROUGH TROUBLED
A LTHOUGH March of 1933 found the great Spring Exhibi-
I \ tion back in Mechanics Building, it was under anything
X V. but favorable conditions. There had just been a bank
holiday and a general feeling of gloom prevailed throughout the
country. It was not easy to obtain exhibitors and three days of
the show week were rainy days, adding to the difficulties ex-
perienced by the Committee on Exhibitions, with Harold S. Ross
as Chairman. Nevertheless, it proved to be an excellent Show,
with an attendance of 65,000, and it made a profit of $10,000,
which was considered remarkable under the circumstances.
One of the exhibits at this Show was among the most outstand-
ing ever seen in Mechanics Building and one which has never
been surpassed. It was a large and beautifully planted rock
garden set up by Ralph Hancock for English Gardens, Inc., and
its importance may be judged by the fact that it received the
President's Cup and the Gold Medal of the Horticultural Society
of New York, and then, at the end of the year, the Albert C.
Burr age Gold Vase as the most outstanding exhibit at any of
the Society's shows in 1933. Mr. Hancock was an expert and
had been a winner at several New York shows.
Two major experiments in the matter of exhibitions were made
in 1933. One was the holding of a Show devoted exclusively to
fruits and vegetables. The other was the presentation of an
Autumn Show with an admission fee. Both exhibitions were ex-
cellent, but the Autumn Show suffered a small financial loss. The
Exhibition Committee felt that such a Show could be made to
pay in future years, but in this they were mistaken, as will later
The exhibitions of fruits had been very popular in years gone
by and William C. Endicott, a former President, helped to revive
STEADY GROWTH THROUGH TROUBLED TIMES 31
this interest with a special prize, to be known as the Governor
Endecott prize, for pears. This was inspired, no doubt by the fact
that a pear tree planted by Governor Endecott was still standing
on Mr. Endicott's place in Danvers. 1
On October 1, 1933, Arno H. Nehrling came to the Society
as Exhibition manager. He was well and favorably known, hav-
ing been at one time an instructor at the Massachusetts State
College and later on the staff at Cornell University, eventually
leaving the teaching profession to go into business. He had been
with the E. G. Hill Company of Richmond, Ind., for several years.
When at Cornell he gained experience in flower show work by
setting up the exhibits at the State Fair in Syracuse, N. Y. At one
time while in Massachusetts Mr. Nehrling came down from
Amherst to give a lecture at Horticultural Hall and found his
name in large letters on a banner hung across the street from
this Hall to Symphony Hall. Little did he dream then that one
day he would head the staff at Horticultural Hall.
James Geehan, who had been acting as Show Manager, had
been appointed advertising manager of Horticulture and its sup-
plement, Garden Club News. An office for his use was provided
at the rear of the building, where considerable idle space existed.
The annual meeting held the first Monday in May found the
Society with a membership of 7,271, it having continued to grow
in spite of adverse conditions. The President remarked that it
was the only Society with which he was familiar that was adding
to its list of members at that time. Mr. Webster was pleased that
most of the essential repairs were being paid for out of current
income. However, it is only fair to say that the reasonably good
financial situation which prevailed had not been achieved without
considerable economy as well as some sacrifice on the part of the
employes, who had agreed to accept a ten per cent reduction in
wages and salaries.
The repairs which the President had in mind when making
his address included the pointing of the bricks at the rear of the
building and the installation of copper gutters where leaks had
begun to appear.
When the Secretary made his report at the annual meeting he
x The change in spelling has come about in the course of years.
32 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
added a little to the President's remarks, pointing out that the
increase in membership had been confined wholly to annual mem-
bers. The chart in the Secretary's office was showing a constant
drop in life memberships, as has been noted in previous years. It
is true that the life membership fee had been raised from thirty
to fifty dollars, but that figure seemed low enough when consider-
ing what a life member might expect to receive over a term of
The election of officers at the annual meeting found Mr.
Webster again chosen President with Oakes Ames re-elected as
Vice President. Jere A. Downs was added to the Board of
Ways of saving money came up for discussion at the meetings
of the Trustees, as a matter of course, and a decision was reached
to eliminate the use of the large Gold Medal at the exhibitions
of the Society, with only the Exhibition Medal being awarded.
(The two are alike except in size and weight.) Another important
vote provided that a Medal Certificate instead of the Medal itself
be given to an exhibitor if he had previously received one
actual Medal. This was in line with the custom of the Royal
The Trustees voted that members of the Exhibition Committee
should be paid five dollars for each meeting attended, with the
provision that not more than one thousand dollars in fees should
be paid out in any year.
Many gifts of horticultural books, some of them very valuable,
reach the Library every year. In 1933 these gifts included books
from the Library of Ernest W. Bowditch, given by his daughter,
Mrs. Augustus H. Eustis, in his memory. They included several
scarce editions which the Librarian had long wished to have on
the shelves. There came also a collection of pomological books
from the Libraries of the two Robert Mannings, one a founder
and the other long the Society's Secretary-Treasurer. Richard C.
Manning made this gift. People seemed to be reading more in
spite of or perhaps because of the depression, calls for books
coming from Maine to Florida and west to Oregon, with a total
of 1,407 mailings. The postage was $84.24. Refunds amounted
to $84.21, making the cost of this service in the matter of postage
STEADY GROWTH THROUGH TROUBLED TIMES 33
just three cents. The saving in postage has continued to increase
as the circulation of books from the Library has grown.
Like all publications Horticulture had rough sledding in 1933,
although encouragement was found in the fact that the circula-
tion remained almost stationary, whereas many magazines suf-
fered a loss of one-third of their subscribers. The circulation at
the end of 1933 was 22,240. Advertising revenue fell off to a
marked degree and yet the year ended with a profit. The experi-
ment of publishing a supplement to be called Garden Club News
was started in the hope of giving added support to the Garden
Club Federation. The initial response was not as satisfactory as
had been expected, although considerable advertising was re-
ceived. A similar experiment was tried in Pennsylvania but did
not prove successful. Garden Club News was carried on for some
time and although it was helpful to the garden clubs, in the end
the expense outweighed the paper's usefulness and the experiment
was set down as a failure.
Two new bulletins were published, " Garden Club Programs''
and "Herbs, How to Grow Them and How to Use Them." The
latter bulletin, written by Mrs. Helen Noyes Webster, was
particularly successful and led Mrs. Webster to prepare a good
sized book on herbs.
The Committee on Special Medals, with Oakes Ames as Chair-
man, chose J. Horace McFarland of Harrisburg, Pa., to receive
the George Robert White Medal of Honor for 1933. Mr. Mc-
Farland, long President of the American Civic Association, one-
time President of the American Rose Society and Editor of the
Rose Annual, was widely known as a writer and lecturer who had
a restless and insatiable interest in new plants wherever grown
and a resistless desire to bring more of beauty and charm into
American cities and homes. He had a large garden at "Breeze
Hill" in Harrisburg, where countless plants, newly discovered or
hybridized, were grown so that judgment might be passed upon
them. He was one of the moving spirits in the publication of
"Standardized Plant Names" and was a member of the Council
of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. He has been credited
with the suggestion which resulted in the formation of the present
national park system.
34 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
The Committee named Lambertus C. Bobbink of Rutherford,
N. J. to receive the Thomas Roland Medal. As the head of one
of the country's largest plant-producing firms he was always
eager to develop and offer new and better material.
E. G. Hill of Richmond, Ind. was selected for the Jackson
Dawson Memorial Medal. Mr. Hill was a veteran rose grower
responsible for the introduction of many of the best roses going
into commerce, with particular emphasis on those intended for
greenhouse culture. It was a matter of great regret that Mr. Hill
passed away before the Medal could reach him.
Dr. and Mrs. Homer Gage were recommended for a Gold
Medal from the H. H. Hunnewell Fund for their estate in Shrews-
bury. This estate, known as "Iristhorpe," featured irises in gen-
eral, but Japanese irises in particular.
Mr. and Mrs. Edwin S. Webster had already been awarded
a Silver Medal for their beautiful rose garden at Quissett, but
the 1933 committee decided that the garden deserved greater
recognition and gave it the Society's large Gold Medal. The year's
additional awards as recommended by the committee were as
Mrs. Stephen Weld, a Gold Medal for a fine old garden at Ware-
Miss Grace Edwards, a Silver Medal for a charming garden at
Mr. Charles O. Blood, a Silver Medal for a large garden at
Mrs. Dana Osgood, a Blue Ribbon Certificate, for a unique tree-
enclosed garden with many wild flowers at Hopedale.
Mrs. Edith Morgan, a Blue Ribbon Certificate for an intimate
garden at Stockbridge.
Mrs. Charles F. Wallace, a Blue Ribbon Certificate, for a de-
lightful small garden at Chestnut Hill.
Mrs. Osborne Howes, a Blue Ribbon Certificate for a lovely
garden built around a swimming pool at Chestnut Hill.
Mrs. Ralph Hornblower, a Blue Ribbon Certificate for a lawn
of unusual excellence at Plymouth.
STEADY GROWTH THROUGH TROUBLED TIMES 35
Corliss Brothers, a Certificate for an artistic wayside stand at
Hugh Bancroft, a Trustee, passed away in 1933. As a pub-
lisher he was especially valuable to the Society on the committee
guiding the destinies of Horticulture. The President, with the
approval of the Board of Trustees, appointed William Ellery of
Chestnut Hill to fill out Mr. Bancroft's unexpired term. At the
1934 annual meeting Mr. Ellery was elected for three years.
William Dexter was appointed to succeed Albert C. Burrage, Jr.,
whose term had expired.
Unfortunately the financial situation was not as favorable at
the end of the year as had been hoped. Indeed, the Society
found itself in the red for the first time in several years. The
deficit was not large, however ($2,819.72), and the small check
of only $700 from Mt. Auburn Cemetery helped explain it in
part. Horticulture was in the happy position of being able to
show a profit of $1,488.89, and the sum of $12,555 na cl been
received from membership fees, an increase of $400 over the
1934— A NEW EXHIBITION MANAGER
THE Committee on Exhibitions, with Harold S. Ross as
Chairman, was beset with difficulties when preparing for
the Spring Show at Mechanics Building in 1934. With
conditions as they were, most private growers were in no mood
to incur the expense required to set up worth-while exhibits. In
particular, no amateur was willing to supply the material needed
for a feature exhibit on the stage. As a result the original schedule
had to be revised and reissued. Then the commercial exhibitors,
together with the garden clubs, extended helping hands and a
highly satisfactory Exhibition, sufficient to fill the halls, was
presented. The stage exhibit, which was set up by Sherman Eddy,
under the name of Tow Path Gardens, Inc., showed an old New
England farm house in a suitable setting with trees and flowers,
and won the Gold Medal of the Horticultural Society of New
York. Mr. Eddy, with headquarters in Hartford, Conn., could
always be depended on for original and attractive exhibits.
In reviewing this show Mr. Ross mentioned an effort by the
Society through the Committee on Exhibitions to maintain a
proper balance between the private and commercial interests,
both being needed to make the Shows complete. The Show
yielded $21,364.31, which amount was transferred to general
The annual meeting of the Society, held on May 7, was pre-
ceded by a lecture in which the Secretary reviewed the activities
of the previous year, illustrating his talk with lantern slides. Mr.
Webster opened the meeting by calling attention to the improve-
ment which had been made in the acoustics of the Lecture Hall.
For many years it had been difficult to hold meetings in the hall
with any degree of satisfaction because of pronounced echoes and
outside noises. When the building was erected doubtless the archi-
A NEW SHOW MANAGER PROVES HIMSELF 37
tects did not consider the possibilities of disturbance from street
cars and other vehicles. In those days, too, not much was known
about sound proofing methods. The situation had been remedied,
Mr. Webster said, by covering the ceiling with a substance which
catches and holds sound waves to a marked degree. Double sash
had been put on the windows and a forced ventilating system did
away with the necessity of opening the windows except in ex-
tremely hot weather.
When speaking of the surprising growth of the Society through-
out the depression years Mr. Webster stated that the total
membership of 7,610 included 821 persons in other states and
nineteen in foreign countries. Twenty-one members resided in
California and eighteen in Florida.
All this was pleasant to hear, but when the President came to
the matter of finances the story was, unfortunately, somewhat
different, because he had to report the loss which existed at the
end of 1933. He expressed the belief that with the good showing
made by the Spring Exhibition and by the practice of rigid
economy the Society would not be using red ink at the end of
1934. He was doomed to disappointment, however, for again
there was to be a deficit when the year closed, although it
amounted only to $641.60.
A new Medal to be known as the H. H. Hunnewell Medal was
introduced in 1934. It was made from a design by John Paramino
and carried the likeness of Mr. Hunnewell on the face, with the
words "Horatio Hollis Hunnewell" around it. The reverse carried
an inscription stating that the Medal was awarded for "an estate
showing rare skill and beauty." The expense of this medal was
borne by the H. H. Hunnewell Fund, which had previously
financed the Society's regular Medal. It was stipulated when the
fund was created that the awards to be made from it must be for
estates of at least three acres, a fact that has appeared to create
difficulties in the use of the fund in some years. The first Medal
struck went to the Hunnewell family.
The garden committee for 1934 was notable for its dis-
tinguished personnel. The members were Mrs. Bayard Thayer,
chairman, Mrs. Albert C. Burrage, Jr., Joseph E. Chandler, Mrs.
S. V. R. Crosby, Mrs. F. B. Crowninshield, William C. Endicott
38 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
and Mrs. Homer Gage. The new H. H. Hunnewell Gold Medal
was awarded to Grenville Linda Winthrop for his estate in
Lenox, which was remarkable for the great number of magnifi-
cent trees it contained, its broad, perfectly kept lawns, its shrub
plantings and a large rock garden planted exclusively with woody
material. The estate was unusual in the fact that it had no flower
gardens or borders.
A Gold Medal went to Mrs. Galen L. Stone for her estate in
Marion, which bordered the ocean and had large greenhouses
surrounded by flower gardens given over mostly to annuals.
The estate had many fine trees and remarkably well-kept hedges. 1
A Gold Medal was awarded to Jere A. Downs for his rose
garden in Winchester. This garden, designed by John B. Wills,
was one of the outstanding rose gardens in the state as regards
size, arrangement and the quality of the plants grown in it. 2
A Gold Medal was awarded Mrs. Francis Boardman Crowin-
shield for her rose garden in Marblehead. This garden, which has
been established for many years, has several unique features and
is looked down upon by several fine old statues. It is still main-
tained as this is written.
Other awards for the year were as follows:
A Silver Medal to Mrs. Pierpont L. Stackpole for her garden
A Blue Ribbon Certificate to Mr. and Mrs. George B. Baker
for a charming little garden at Chestnut Hill.
A Blue Ribbon Certificate to Mrs. Gaspar G. Bacon for a
garden in Jamaica Plain.
A Blue Ribbon Certificate to Dr. and Mrs. Amos I. Hadley for
a garden in Wayland surrounded by a serpentine wall.
A Blue Ribbon Certificate to Mrs. Stephen Van Renssaeler
Crosby for a remarkable hornbeam hedge on her estate in Man-
A Blue Ribbon Certificate to Mrs. Charles Sumner Bird, Jr.,
*As this is written the estate is in the hands of Robert Stone, his mother
having passed away. It is from the Stone greenhouses that the magnificent
acacias seen at the Spring Flower Shows in Boston have come. Nowhere else in
New England is there a large collection of these plants.
'Since the death of Mr. Downs, who was a Trustee of the Society, the estate
which included the rose garden has been broken up.
A NEW SHOW MANAGER PROVES HIMSELF 39
for her driveway in Ipswich lined with magnificent trees planted
by Mrs. Bird's father, Randolph Morgan Appleton.
The George Robert White Medal of Honor was awarded to
Captain F. Kingdon Ward, noted British plant hunter and ex-
plorer. Captain Ward had penetrated to the most distant points
of China and had worked in other countries, finding many
hundred new plants for European and American gardens. His
discoveries of rhododendrons and primulas were especially note-
worthy. He was the author of several important books and had
already received high honors in his native country.
The Thomas Roland Medal, given for skill in horticulture,
went to William Kleinheinz of Elkins Park, Pa., Superintendent
for Joseph Widener. He was an expert gardener and the exhibits
of acacias from the Widener greenhouses set up by him were
among the principal features of the Spring Flower Show in
Philadelphia for many years.
H. Harold Hume of Gainesville, Fla. received the Jackson
Dawson Memorial Medal, and was later to win other important
awards because of the important work done by him in the hy-
bridization and propagation of azaleas, camellias, hollies and
citrus fruits and for his writings.
Horticulture made a steady gain in circulation in 1934 in spite
of depressed business conditions, reaching a total of 25,000. A
material factor was a 300 membership increase by the Pennsyl-
vania society, which, of course, added that many to the total.
The advertising situation had improved somewhat, with receipts
of $19,075 as against $17,000 the previous year. However, this
amount was only half that of 1939, when business was better. 3
The Library acquired two rare and important books in 1934.
One was Andrew Mollet's "Garden of Pleasure," published in
London in 1670. This purchase gave the Library what probably
is the only copy of this work in the country. The second rare
book was a copy of the 1599 edition of Gerard's list of the plants
8 It is to be noted that the profit account of the magazine suffers from the fact
that all copies delivered to members of the Society or to subscribers within the
Boston postal district must carry stamps instead of being sent by a pound rate,
as is permitted outside this district. This means that it costs more to send Horti-
culture to Jamaica Plain or Chestnut Hill than it does to Kalamazoo or Los
Angeles. It is one of the peculiar features of the postal regulations.
4 o TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
grown in his garden at Holborn. From it we get an insight into
the resources of the best gardens of the 17th century. The prac-
tice of setting out the Society's choice books under the protection
of glass for the benefit of visitors begun at this time met with
This is in effect a dual Library. It has assembled and con-
tinually adds to a collection of very old, rare and highly valuable
publications, making possible an understanding of horticultural
progress as seen through its literature over a period of centuries.
At the same time it acquires every new book having horticultural
significance either through purchase or from Horticulture, which
passes on to the Library all the garden books received for review.
An examination of the records in the Secretary's office in 1934
revealed that no fewer than twenty-four persons had been mem-
bers for at least forty years. The names were published in the
Year Book, starting with that of Walter S. Barnes, who had
become a member in 1866.
The members of the Prize Committee were voted a five-dollar
fee for each meeting attended, following similar action the pre-
vious year at the request of the Committee on Exhibitions, but
with a total limit of $1,000 in a year.
Both Boston and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society may
claim the credit for introducing the school garden movement into
America, according to a contribution to the Year Book in 1934 by
Thomas Patrick Dooley, head of the Department of Agriculture
at the Jamaica Plain High School. It seems that Henry Lincoln
Clapp, then master of the George Putnam School in Roxbury,
went to Europe in 1890 or '91 to study school gardening, already
established there. When he returned he planted a wild garden
in the yard of his school, and later added vegetables. Next he
succeeded in getting appropriations for the recognition for these
forms of horticulture from the Society and became Chairman of
the Children's Garden Committee. Enthusiasm for such work be-
gan to manifest itself in different parts of the state and the
movement soon spread throughout the country. Mr. Dooley's
paper covered five pages and was deemed of much importance
in correlating all the existing information about the rise and
development of school garden activities in America.
A NEW SHOW MANAGER PROVES HIMSELF 41
Miss Marian Roby Case, a Trustee very much interested in
the work of children, donated thirty bronze medals for awards in
1934 and continued such donations as long as she lived. She also
conducted a garden school for boys each Summer at her home
In 1934 and for several years thereafter Charles Young, with
a fruit farm near Fall River, amazed visitors to the fruit and
vegetable shows held late each Summer, by the high quality of
the apples and pears which he brought in. At the same time he
astonished other growers by the unorthodox methods he followed.
He did not plow his orchard, as did most growers, but mulched
his trees with brush and trimmings and pruned only lightly. His
methods were often ridiculed at the time but some of them
gradually came into common use.
It is interesting to find the Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase
awarded at the Autumn Exhibition rather than at the more
extensive Spring Show. This much coveted award went to the
Isabella Steward Gardner Museum for a large, modernistic chrys-
anthemum exhibit, which involved a great amount of work and
was much admired. The attendance at the Show was disappoint-
ing, however, probably because it came close to Election Day,
when newspaper publicity was difficult to obtain. Fifty cents ad-
mission was charged non-members, but the receipts were not
sufficient to prevent a small loss.
Thus it fell to the lot of Mr. Nehrling, the new Exhibition
Manager, to supervise two large and important Shows in one of
the most difficult years in the Society's history. It was a new
experience, but he acquitted himself so handsomely that there
was no question about his ability to deal with whatever prob-
lems might be encountered in the future.
1935— RIGID ECONOMY WELL REWARDED
WITH a deficit for two years behind them, the Trustees
approached 1935 in a mood calling for rigid economy.
The heads of committees and departments were called
together and instructed to reduce expenditures where this could
be done without interfering with the necessary work of the
Society. It was decided to put on a small free Show in the Au-
tumn instead of duplicating the expensive Show of the previous
year. The early June Show was dropped and the prize awards of
the other Shows kept at a minimum.
However, as the season progressed prospects began to look
brighter all along the line. The Spring Show was a decided suc-
cess and the number of members continued to increase, reaching
a total of 8,217 at the date of the annual meeting. The month of
April alone brought in $2,644 in membership fees, the largest
amount at that time for a single month in the Society's history.
Indeed, many large figures began to show on the books, for
the Society was necessarily becoming involved in business opera-
tions to a considerable extent, although its aims and purposes
continued, of course, to be educational and philanthropical. In
April the Treasurer paid out $52,000, but that was the month in
which most of the Spring Show bills were paid, including $24,000
It was a matter of satisfaction to all concerned that the Board
of Trustees felt sufficiently encouraged to restore the salary and
wage cuts which had been in effect for some time.
Because of a new appraisement of the building and its contents
and a consequent reduction in rates, the amount of insurance
premiums due each year had been reduced by several hundred
dollars. These insurance premiums, by the way, are an important
item of expense, amounting to about $3,000 a year. The loss in
rentals had not been made up. This loss, occasioned by the
RIGID ECONOMY WELL REWARDED 43
merging of the food show with a more general exhibition in
Mechanics Building, was a substantial one. The food show had
been a fixture at Horticultural Hall for many years, but it was
feeling the effects of the depression.
The great event of the Spring was, of course, the mammoth
Exhibition in Mechanics Building, which earned the Society
$21,364.31. Harold S. Ross, who was Chairman of the Exhibition
Committee, declared it to be the most beautiful Spring Flower
Show so far staged in Boston. It was larger than previous shows,
the basement being used, and the exhibits in Grand Hall were
staged under the direction of the garden clubs, making this huge
auditorium a unit exhibit of "June in New England," This Show
was the first to be planned by a landscape architect, Harold Hill
Blossom, a member of the Board of Trustees and a man standing
high in his profession. Mr. Ross felt that this policy should be
followed in the future, as, indeed, it has been, at least in some
A feature of this Show was a conservation garden staged by
the New England Wild Flower Preservation Society and the
Massachusetts Audubon Society. It received the Silver Medal of
the Garden Club of America. The President's Cup was won by
Mr. and Mrs. John S. Ames for a large and handsome Japanese
garden. This was in addition to the Society's Gold Medal. Will
C. Curtis won the Gold Medal of the Horticultural Society of
New York for a remarkable naturalistic garden. Jere Downs was
awarded the Gold Medal of the Pennsylvania Horticultural So-
ciety for a huge plant of Cymbidium Beatrice, which attracted
much attention. The stage exhibit was a handsome azalea garden
set up by Mrs. Theodore E. Brown and awarded a Gold Medal.
Only one June Show was held, as voted by the Trustees, but
that one was staged in co-operation with the American Peony
Society and brought out 7,229 visitors. The experiment of offer-
ing ribbons instead of cash prizes was tried at the Gladiolus and
Dahlia Shows, but apparently it did not meet with favor, for
we find cash prizes in the schedule the following year. A Vegetable
and Fruit Show put on in October attracted 8,791 visitors.
A change in policy in the course of the year resulted in an
admission charge once more at the Autumn Show, although it
44 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
was only twenty-five cents. As a matter of fact, this was carry-
ing out an experiment which caused much discussion and a cer-
tain amount of criticism. It involved sending tickets to all the
members of the Society with a request that they sell as many as
they could. As a result the attendance was 11,239 and the Show
earned $684.32. 1
In the course of the year the Rule Book was completely re-
vised. The use of the Rule Book has simplified and improved the
judging at all the Shows and is considered so valuable that it has
been adopted in part at least by other organizations.
President Webster was traveling in the West at the time of the
1935 annual meeting, and the senior Vice President, Professor
Oakes Ames, was in the chair. The business session was preceded
by a lecture given by the Secretary, in which he used lantern
slides to review the activities of the previous year. The Secretary
then read a letter from the President, and the various committees
gave their reports, the gist of which will be covered in this 1935
It was suggested by the Gardeners' and Florists' Club of
Boston in 1935 that a series of monthly meetings be held with the
cooperation of that organization. This large and very active
club had been holding meetings in Horticultural Hall for many
years and its suggestion was accepted at once. Lectures were
given at these meetings and limited numbers of plants and
flowers shown. Mr. Nehrling directed two study courses held in
Horticultural Hall by the Boston Branch of the National Asso-
ciation of Gardeners. Mr. and Mrs. Hollis Webster conducted
courses in botany for amateurs, which were largely attended.
They were under the auspices of the Society. This became the
most active study period that had been known for many years.
It has not continued at this level, and yet class work has not by
any means been ignored. The Society has attempted, it appears,
to meet the needs of the times as they have arisen.
The Society continued to cooperate in the work of establish-
ing gardens in the Ward 8 section of the city, and the Secretary
was authorized to spend twenty-five dollars for loam to be used
1 This was the first and only time that an Autumn Show has had a favorable
balance, but in spite of that fact the 1935 experiment has not been repeated.
RIGID ECONOMY WELL REWARDED 45
in these gardens. Mrs. Robert Stone gave seventy-five dollars to
be used for prizes.
At a meeting of the Trustees it was voted to write to the
Secretary of Agriculture supporting his position in proposing to
do away with the quarantine on narcissi, a matter which had
become very controversial. At the same time it was voted to
award Medals to three men who had been active in educational
work along horticultural lines: John C. Brodhead, assistant
superintendent of Boston's schools; Charles M. Lamprey, direc-
tor of the Martin school in Roxbury, and Richard J. Hayden,
superintendent of the Boston Park System.
It was voted also to make the Hall again available for rum-
mage sales. However, it seemed for a time as if the contents of
attics and storerooms had been depleted, for no rentals of this
kind were made throughout the year. This situation was not to
continue, of course, and Horticultural Hall became once more the
city's favorite location for rummage sales.
Some 490 volumes were added to the Library in 1935. The
botany course led the Library Committee to strengthen that
part of the book collection and to purchase a set of large-scale
drawings and diagrams illustrating cultivated genera.
Dr. Ivan H. Crowell of Boston lectured on "The Diseases of
Trees," in September, Professor Ralph W. Curtis of Cornell Uni-
versity lectured on "Trees for Decorative Purposes," in October
and W. E. Marshall of New York City lectured on "Lilies," in
November, this lecture being paid for from the William N. Craig
Fund. One of the outstanding features of the Society's work was
a course in gardening practice given by Mrs. Julia A. Latimer
of Mamaroneck, N. Y., eight lectures in all. This course was
largely attended and proved extremely popular.
An interesting experiment was made in March when the Hall
was opened to the Dahlia Society of New England for a lecture
on a Sunday afternoon. The experiment was a success, for the
attendance was large, two-thirds of those present being men.
Professor Oakes Ames was awarded the George Robert White
Medal of Honor in 1935, an award which was highly commended
by all familiar with his work. He had been devoted to orchids
through much of his life and at one time owned a large and im-
46 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
portant collection at his home in North Easton. When he de-
cided to give his time to botany, he presented this collection to
the New York Botanic Garden. He then built up one of the
largest and strongest orchid herbaria in the world, comprising
over 42,000 sheets. He also amassed a large scientific library.
He was professor of botany at Harvard University and for many
years was supervisor of the Arnold Arboretum, the Harvard
Botanical Garden in Cuba and the Botanical Museum in Cam-
William N. Craig received the Thomas Roland Medal for skill
in horticulture. This skill was a matter of wide knowledge, for
Mr. Craig had long been recognized as among the most expert
gardeners in the country. He had established his own nursery
after many years as an estate superintendent and had written
a popular book on the cultivation of lilies, a subject in which he
was especially interested. Some years before, it will be remem-
bered, he had established a fund with the Massachusetts Horti-
cultural Society for arousing increased interest in lilies. The
award from this fund in 1935 was a Medal which went to Arthur
Grove of London, England.
The Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal went to M. H. Horvath
of Mentor, Ohio, a modest man whose work was not widely
known, but who had been very successful in breeding roses, bar-
berries and other woody plants.
There seemed to be renewed interest in gardening in 1935. At
least that was the report of the Committee on Gardens, which
received so many letters offering gardens for inspection that a
zoning plan was decided on, specified sections of the state to be
visited each year. At the same time the Committee found itself
somewhat handicapped, as an unseasonable frost in late March
had done much damage to Spring gardens. The year's awards
when announced were as follows:
The Hunnewell Gold Medal to Russell Tyson of North Andover
for an unusual estate.
A Gold Medal to Mrs. G. M. Lane for a sea-side garden in Man-
chester with attractive pools.
A Silver Medal to Mrs. John G. Coolidge for a rose garden and
willow trees on her place at North Andover.
RIGID ECONOMY WELL REWARDED 47
A Silver Medal to Mrs. Charles F. Ayer of Hamilton for the
attractive surroundings of a swimming pool.
The Committee in its travels found several other gardens
which it felt worthy of recognition. A very pretty small garden
belonging to Mrs. Charles Norton of Annisquam received a Blue
A lovely small garden belonging to Mr. and Mrs. W. Endicott
Dexter of Prides Crossing won a Blue Ribbon Certificate and
a similar award went to Mrs. Ferris Greenslet for a garden in
Ipswich which showed unusual originality and much promise for
the future. Miss Margaret Cummings of Topsfield was awarded
a Blue Ribbon Certificate for the variety of her gardens and their
individual charm. Mrs. Charles Pease received a Garden Cer-
tificate for a garden in Melrose which showed great ingenuity in
the planting of limited space.
The 1935 Year Book contained an important article by Miss
Dorothy Manks, the Librarian, about the Society's collection of
trade catalogues, something with which few members were fa-
miliar. The Society has made a systematic collection of such
catalogues since 1880. When Miss Manks gave this report the
catalogues file numbered 19,431, representing 2,327 firms. The
file has a triple appeal — to collectors, to students and to buyers.
It has proved its value many times through its use by authors
and research workers. It provides original descriptions and dates
of introduction. Duplicates from this collection formed the nu-
cleus of the one in Washington.
Late in the year Paul Frese, assistant to the Secretary, resigned
to accept a more lucrative position and later became editor of
the Flower Grower. Mr. Frese had come into the Secretary's
office some years before as a graduate of Massachusetts Agri-
cultural College looking for a position with a florist. After some
discussion he was offered a position with the Society and de-
veloped into an excellent writer and editor. He was succeeded
by Miss Hazel Keener, formerly at the Ohio State University.
A rearrangement of the offices was then made so that Mr.
Nehrling might have a room to himself. The exhibition work of
the Society had expanded to such an extent that more space was
needed for that department and Mr. Nehrling was able to carry
48 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
on the interviews in which he had constantly to be engaged under
There was an exceptionally long necrology list in 1935. It ran
to 128 names and included two Trustees, Jere A. Downs and
Harold Hill Blossom, both active and valuable members. Mr.
Downs was a consistent exhibitor and his marvelous plant of
Cymbidium Beatrice shown at the Spring Exhibition had won
him the Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase as the outstanding exhibit
of the year. As Mr. Downs had passed away after the award had
been voted, the vase was presented to his sister Miss Elizabeth
Mr. Blossom was active in arranging the Spring Exhibition, as
has been noted. The Committee on Exhibitions felt itself fortu-
nate in obtaining the services of his associate Veasey Peirce to
carry on in his stead.
At the end of the year the Trustees voted to award a Gold
Medal to Clifford Brown of Wellesley as the Albert C. Burrage
Porch Prize for 1935.
The year closed with an excess of income over expenditures, as
the Treasurer liked to put it, of $8,540.72. Horticulture con-
tributed $558.63 to this total, the Spring Show paid well and the
return from investments was $21,991. There was an increase of
about $1,500 in membership fees and the rentals were better by
$1,800. The year 1935 had been a good one.
1936— BLACK INK UNEXPECTEDLY TURNS RED
THERE was a feeling of high optimism throughout Horti-
cultural Hall at the beginning of 1936. The previous year
had closed with a balance of $8,540.72. The Autumn Show
had made an unprecedented profit of $684.52. The membership
had continued to grow and considerable interest in rentals was
being shown. In this spirit the Trustees added $3,000 to the
Show Insurance Fund, set aside $1,000 to establish a fund for
recataloguing the Library, authorized the Secretary to purchase
a new piano and instructed the Committee on Buildings, with
Joseph E. Chandler as Chairman, to proceed with the renovation
of Exhibition Hall as well as to make certain other improvements.
Then, in March, the floods came, just before the date of the
Spring Show. They were, perhaps, the most disastrous floods ever
experienced in New England and they changed the whole out-
look of the Exhibition Committee almost over night. For a time,
indeed, there seemed to be little likelihood that a Show would be
held, but the Show Manager, Mr. Nehrling, and his assistants
worked night and day for a week, while the exhibitors overcame
enormous difficulties in getting their material to Mechanics Build-
ing. Thus the Show was set up and an extra day, Sunday, March
29, added for the benefit of flood victims. It happened to be the
first warm Sunday of the season, however, and the attendance
was disappointing. Still, it was possible to make a worth-while
gift to the Red Cross — half of the day's receipts.
The Show was a good one but reaching the Hall was not easy
for people outside the city and the profit was only $10,300.59.
Albert A. Hulley won the President's Cup, along with a Gold
Medal for a rose garden. Will C. Curtis set up a woodland scene
in his inimitable manner, receiving both the Gold Medal of the
Horticultural Society of New York and that of the Massachusetts
Society. A group of cymbidiums won the Pennsylvania Horti-
50 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
cultural Society's Gold Medal and that of this Society for Miss
Elizabeth A. Downs.
At the end of the year Mrs. Frederick F. Brewster was to be
awarded the Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase for the most outstand-
ing exhibit at any of the Society's Shows in the course of the
twelve months. Her exhibit, a beautiful tulip garden, was staged
at the Spring Show under particularly difficult conditions, for all
the material used had to be brought from Dublin, N. H., over
roads and streams subject to the hazards of the March flood.
At the annual meeting in May the President, Mr. Webster,
referred to the difficulties occasioned by the floods but was in no
way disturbed by the loss in revenue. Times of prosperity and
the lack of it had been recurrent throughout the Society's history
of over a century, he said. Mr. Webster then went on to deprecate
a widespread opinion that the Society was very wealthy and not
in need of additional income. It was true, he said, that the Society
could make money for a time if it made no effort to carry out the
fundamental purposes for which it was organized. But then its
membership would dwindle and its influence decay. Mr. Webster
expressed the belief that the Spring Show, having been put on a
business basis, could be expected in normal years to provide the
funds necessary for staging free Shows throughout the Summer.
He closed his remarks by saying that a Budget Committee had
been appointed and that all receipts and expenditures were being
When making his report at the annual meeting, William Ellery,
Chairman of the Committee on Exhibitions, stated that the de-
cision of the Committee to have the comments of the judges made
public on the exhibitors' cards had been well received and ex-
pressed the belief that the custom would tend to improve the
exhibits. 1 Mr. Ellery also referred to the point system which had
been adopted for judging, saying that it had been under fire and
sometimes justly. He was confident, however, that whatever faults
seemed to exist did not lie in the system itself but in its misap-
plication and said that certain changes were being made to obtain
a more nearly perfect operation of the plan.
The Daffodil Show, started in 1934 but skipped the next year,
x The plan has been continued to some extent to the present time.
Frontispiece of a Rare Book in the Library of the
Massachusetts Horticultural Society
John S. Ames, Elected President of the Society in 1944
BLACK INK UNEXPECTEDLY TURNS RED 51
was resumed in 1946 and well attended. A lecture by Mrs. F.
Stuart Foote of Grand Rapids, Mich., with "Daffodils" as her
subject was made a feature of the Show and was well received.
The Summer Shows were held under adverse weather conditions
which limited the attendance. As part of a new plan, instituted in
1 93 1 as noted, the Gladiolus Show and the Dahlia Show were
placed in the hands of the two societies specializing in these
The usual Fruit and Vegetable Show was omitted in 1936, in
order that greater emphasis might be placed on the Autumn
Show, at which time the Society was host to the American Orchid
Society. It proved to be one of the best late-season Shows in
years, with an attendance of 20,000 persons.
As noted, the Trustees set aside $1,000 in January to begin
the reclassification and recataloguing of the Library. Such a task
was obviously needed, for the system then in use had been in-
stalled thirty years before. It was to be a tedious undertaking,
however, going along, of course, with the regular Library activ-
ities. 3 A hint of these activities comes from the fact that 800 seed
and plant catalogues from twenty-one different countries had
been received the previous year, all of them requiring to be in-
spected and filed. This is not an unimportant matter, for ques-
tions as to where certain rare seeds or plants are to be obtained
come continually to the Librarians. It would be difficult to find
some of the answers anywhere else. A card index started at about
the time we are considering gradually developed into an impor-
tant adjunct of the Society's work.
An important vote by the Trustees late in the year required
that First-class Certificates should be given only to plants which
had previously received an Award of Merit, a rule still in effect.
Another vote of the Trustees favored the encouragement of wild-
flower propagation by nurserymen, with awards to stimulate this
work. It was felt that this was one of the best ways to aid in
2 The plan proved so successful that it has been adhered to. To be sure, the
Dahlia Show is no longer held, inasmuch as the popularity of this flower seems
to have waned in New England and the Dahlia Society has become inactive, but
iris specialists soon began showing under the new arrangement, with the Horti-
cultural Society making all its facilities available without cost.
8 The work was not started until 1939 and was interrupted for several years
by the War.
52 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
the preservation of wild plants in their native habitats. The rec-
ords do not show, however, that the making of such awards was
The basement of Horticultural Hall has a section commonly
called the "catacombs." By making many changes there and by
lowering the freight elevator, provision was made for the storage
of peat moss, tables, horses and many tons of rocks needed for
exhibition purposes. A well-equipped carpenter and paint shop
was also installed.
Getting rid of the pigeons and starlings, thousands of which
had infested the building for several years was a problem which
the Building Committee finally solved by having the various
roosting places painted with a substance which was too sticky
to be comfortable. Although the desired purpose was accom-
plished, at least for the time being, it was not without a certain
amount of notoriety when one pigeon was found on the sidewalk
The Society had much to offer the public in 1936, making its
position as an educational institution secure. A course of lectures
by Mrs. Julia A. Latimer of Mamaroneck, N. Y., her second, was
well attended. Monthly lectures and exhibits were carried through
the Winter in cooperation with the Gardeners' and Florists' Club
of Boston. Edward C. Newell, President of the Massachusetts
School of Art, gave two lectures on flower arrangement, as well as
conducting a course under the auspices of the State Depart-
ment of Education. Perhaps the most notable lecture was that
of Miss Margaret Preininger of Los Angeles, with "Japanese
Flower Arrangements" as her subject.
Harlan P. Kelsey, selected to receive the George Robert White
Medal of Honor of 1936, was a man who had won a high place
in many branches of horticulture. As a nurseryman he had in-
troduced many important new plants, particularly those of the
Southern Allegheny Mountain region. He was perhaps the first
nurseryman of importance to campaign for the use of hardy
American plants in American gardens. He was a member of the
4 The pigeon problem has repeatedly reappeared at intervals, largely because of
women who insist upon throwing bread on the sidewalk for the birds, regardless
of requests that they desist from so doing.
BLACK INK UNEXPECTEDLY TURNS RED 53
original committee responsible for "Standardized Plant Names."
He was a member of the Southern Appalachian National Park
Commission which selected three new national parks — Shenan-
doah National Park in Virginia, the Great Smoky National Park
in North Carolina and Tennessee, and Mammoth Cave National
Park. For many years he was special advisor to the National
Park Service. He was for two years President of the Appalachian
Mountain Club, two years President of the American Association
of Nurserymen, and the first President of the Massachusetts
Federation of Planning Boards. He succeeded Ernest H. Wilson
as President of the Horticultural Club of Boston and was an
active member of the Massachusetts Trustees of Public Reserva-
tion. He was given an honorary degree by Harvard University.
And this brief summary touches only the high points of his re-
The Thomas Roland Medal was awarded Elmer D. Smith of
Adrian, Mich., who may well be called the father of the modern
chrysanthemum in America, although he had done much important
work with other flowers.
Robert M. Grey, awarded the Jackson Dawson Memorial
Medal, was not widely known, but had done much important
work as Superintendent of the Atkins Institution of the Arnold
Arboretum at Soledad, Cienfuegos, Cuba. He had been retired
when this award was made.
Norman Taylor won the Society's Gold Medal, largely for his
work as editor of the "Garden Dictionary." A Gold Medal was
awarded also to Rufus Witaker Stimson for a distinguished
career of leadership in the training of youth for agricultural
pursuits. He was Supervisor of Agricultural Education in Massa-
chusetts for twenty- four years and was due for retirement in
An attractive porch added to the residence of Mrs. Charles S.
Jenney in Brookline won for Mrs. Jenney the Albert C. Burrage
Porch Prize for 1936.
There were seventy-nine names in the necrology list of 1936,
among them that of William C. Endicott, who was President of
the Society in the years 1919 and 1920. This was during a period
of readjustment when acumen, patience and devotion were greatly
54 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
needed. The membership was only a thousand. Fruit displays had
become meagre, for growers were hampered by a shortage of
labor and poor transportation. There was disagreement within
the Society as to the course which should be pursued. Some in-
fluential members complained that the Society was becoming too
floricultural. The growing absence of commercial men from the
committees was being criticized. It was a situation such as might
be expected at the close of a world war. Mr. Endicott dealt with
it wisely and patiently, reconciling differences and pointing to
greater progress through increased service to the public by means
of Shows and other avenues to horticultural knowledge. Mr. Ben-
son writes: "The reconstruction Mr. Endicott accomplished was
firm and complete." An excellent portrait of Mr. Endicott, given
to the Society by his widow, hangs in Horticultural Hall.
The optimism in evidence at the beginning of the year had
faded by the time the books were closed. Indeed, not much of it
had been left after the Spring Show had ended, the profit having
been very small because of weather conditions, as has been noted.
The deficit, already mentioned, was set at $72.58, but it had been
necessary to draw on the Show Insurance Fund for $2,800 to
bring the Treasurer's books even close to balancing. Thus, of the
$3,000 added to the Fund at the beginning of the year, only $200
remained when the year had reached its end. This was an ab-
normal situation, of course; the rest of the Society's activities had
been on a very satisfactory basis.
1937— LORD ABERCONWAY SEES
AN UNUSUAL SHOW
IORD ABERCONWAYS visit was considered, doubtless, the
horticultural highpoint of 1937 in Boston. As President
^ of the Royal Horticultural Society, Lord Aberconway had
world-wide prestige, but he was a notable figure apart from that
distinction. His estate was one of the best in England and his
knowledge of plants astonishing. Although Lord Aberconway
visited all three of the great Spring Shows, he came to this coun-
try on the invitation of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society
and it was through this Society that all the preliminary arrange-
ments were made. It should be said in this connection that the
late William H. Judd of the Arnold Arboretum, a personal friend
of Lord Aberconway, made the original suggestion to his lordship
and that much of the credit for this visit, the first official visit
of the kind in the history of the three societies, is due him.
Lord Aberconway seemed to be much impressed with the
Shows but expressed surprise that salesmen with pencil and pad
were not to be found at each exhibit as in England. This is a
practice which, of course, has always been frowned on in this
A dinner for the members of the Society was held in Horticul-
tural Hall at the time of the Spring Show, the first dinner of the
kind in fifty years. Lord Aberconway was one of the speakers
and made a delightful address, with unexpected reference to some
events which took place in the early history of the Society. The
dinner offered an excellent opportunity for the presentation of
the President's Cup, which had been won by Thomas Roland,
Inc. of Nahant, for a splendid exhibit of acacias. Robert Roland
accepted the cup for his firm. Another interesting event at the
dinner was the presentation to Mr. Webster, as President of the
Society, of a Medal from the Holland Bulb Exporters Associa-
56 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
tion. John Scheepers of New York acted as spokesman for the
The Spring Show itself, which may well be considered here,
was offered with a certain amount of misgiving, for the experi-
ment was being tried of building Grand Hall into a single unit —
a picture of Holland with a wide canal extending the length of
the hall. The plan, suggested by Wilfrid Wheeler of the Exhibi-
tion Committee, brought many problems to Mr. Nehrling as
Exhibition Manager, but he was fortunate in obtaining the serv-
ices of Egbert Hans, an artist combining imagination with skill.
Mr. Hans painted all the scenic backgrounds in Grand Hall, help-
ing to create a remarkably realistic Dutch village. His work was
so expertly done that the Society awarded him its Gold Medal.
The Show increased the Society's income for the year by
One of the prizes at the Spring Show was a magnificent gold-
lined Silver Cup presented by the Royal Horticultural Society
to be awarded to the amateur exhibit showing the greatest skill
in culture and arrangement. This cup, a fine old English piece,
was won by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for a rare and
unusual collection of Jasminum nudiflorum. This seems to be a
good place to note that Lord Aberconway himself was voted the
Society's large Gold Medal to mark his visit, although technically
it was for his distinguished service to horticulture.
The Gold Medal of the Horticultural Society of New York was
awarded the Cape Ann Garden Club, while the Gold Medal of
the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society went to the L. Sherman
Adams Company for a group of orchids.
The 1937 annual meeting stands out from all similar gather-
ings in the Society's history for it was attended by more mem-
bers than any other annual meeting before or since. The reason was
plain. The fact had been learned in advance that the name of a
second candidate for President, that of Will C. Curtis, would be
found on the ballot. It was the first time for decades at least that
there had been competition for any office. When the polls were
closed 577 ballots had been cast and Mr. Webster was found to
have been reelected by an overwhelming majority.
In his address at this meeting Mr. Webster reviewed the So-
LORD ABERCONWAY SEES AN UNUSUAL SHOW 57
ciety's activities in the light of changing times. He stressed the
need of flexible programs and in particular the purpose to be of
service to all people, members and non-members alike. "It is a
matter of comment," he said "that visitors to the Library and
to the various offices are invariably treated with courtesy and
consideration — no matter whether they be estate owners or the
humblest of employes . . ." He also mentioned that the Society
was still maintaining an employment bureau for the assistance of
gardeners seeking positions, this service being free. As a matter
of fact, this branch of the Society's work, under the direction of
Mr. Geehan, had become so satisfactory that most other Boston
agencies were sending their applicants to Horticultural Hall.
The Secretary's report at this meeting showed the membership
hovering around the nine thousand mark, with a good prospect
of passing it before the end of the year. With increasing member-
ship, however, there came need for additional working space. The
Trustees had voted, therefore, to construct another large room on
the third floor and to extend the elevator to that floor. Provision
was made for a door into a third room, if such a room should be
needed in the course of time. Before the next annual meeting Mrs.
S. V. R. Crosby was to present the Society a dozen new chairs
for this room, as well as several pictures. Pictures came, too,
from Wilfrid Wheeler, who also gave the Society two handsome
metal vases, which found a place in the Secretary's office. Pre-
viously Mr. Wheeler had presented the Library a large glass case
designed for the display of curios. A stand for this case was con-
structed under the direction of Mr. Cummings, Chairman of the
Building Committee, and it was then placed in a corner of the
Library, being used to contain replicas of the President's Cup and
the Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase, along with the Beacon Hill
Garden Club's Cup and many medals. 1
The Year Book for 1937 contained an exceptionally compre-
hensive list of unusual flowering and fruiting shrubs hardy in
New England and suitable for gardens in this section. It was pre-
pared by Harlan P. Kelsey, then a Trustee of the Society, and
his son Seth, who was to become a Trustee in later years. This
list may be examined in the Library at Horticultural Hall.
1 This exhibit of the Society's trophies continues to interest many visitors.
58 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
The Year Book also contained a remarkable chart which was
prepared by Professor Oakes Ames showing the botanical back-
ground of horticulture and the relation of economic botany to
gardening. Any visitor to the Library may examine this chart.
It was voted by the Trustees in 1937 to completely revise the
By-Laws and submit them to the Society members at the annual
meeting in 1938. A committee consisting of Messrs. Carter,
Ames, Ellery, Hunnewell and Roland was appointed to undertake
After much debate, extending over several meetings, the Trus-
tees voted to make garden club exhibits eligible for sweepstake
prizes at the Spring Show. Another important action was the
adoption of a rule that orchids which are submitted for exhibi-
tion must have been the property of the exhibitor for at least
The Society had continued to co-operate with the Gardeners'
and Florists' Club in putting on monthly meetings with lectures,
but the number of plants sent in for inspection had been growing
smaller. The inference was that the gardeners were beginning to
tire of making two trips a month to the Hall. There was a series
of lectures in a science course conducted by the National Garden-
ers' Association, and another series, this one by Robert Sturtevant
on "Home Garden Design" under the auspices of the State
Department of Education.
The Spring Show has been dealt with at some length in con-
nection with the visit of Lord Aberconway but some attention
should be given the smaller shows of 1937. Wilfrid Wheeler had
succeeded Harold Ross as Chairman of the Committee on Ex-
hibitions and liked the Daffodil Exhibition in April so well that
he thought it should become a regular part of the schedule. 2
Although the June Show was primarily designed for peony dis-
plays, it was made notable by a remarkable exhibit of hardy
lilies by John Scheepers of New York. Said Mr. Wheeler, "It is
doubtful if ever before at any Exhibition of our Society has such
a variety of liliums been exhibited by one person." Mr. Scheepers
2 This was to happen but the date was to be changed to coincide with that of
the annual meeting in May and this arrangement has been continued to the
present time, serving the excellent purpose of increasing the attendance at the
Edward I. Farrington, Secretary from 1924 to 1947
LORD ABERCONWAY SEES AN UNUSUAL SHOW 59
was quite properly awarded the Society's Gold Medal for this
The New York Experiment Station at Geneva brought to
Boston a remarkable exhibit of seedling grapes for the October
Show. It aroused much interest, too, with an exhibit of hazel
nuts, displaying some fifty seedlings.
The wide variation in the climate of Massachusetts was
brought into perspective at the Autumn Show, for splendid
hybrid tea roses grown out of doors in Falmouth were among the
exhibits, along with much greenhouse material. It was a colorful
Show and a garden featuring chrysanthemums set up for Mrs.
Francis B. Crowninshield of Marblehead by her very capable gar-
dener Thomas Murray was awarded the Albert C. Burrage Gold
Vase as the most outstanding exhibit of the year, not excepting
any of those at the Spring Show.
When the special medal awards were announced late in the
year it was found that the coveted George Robert White Medal
of Honor had gone to Frederick Law Olmsted, a distinguished
landscape architect of Brookline.
The Thomas Roland Medal, awarded for skill in horticulture,
went to Dr. A. B. Stout of the New York Botanical Garden, spe-
cial emphasis being laid on his work in the breeding and propa-
gation of daylilies.
J. E. Spingarn, known far and wide for his work with clematis,
which he helped through his writing to make popular, received
the Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal. Richard Wellington, who
had been responsible for the attractive fruit exhibits from the
Agricultural Experiment Station at Geneva, N. Y. at the Society's
Shows, and who had been eminently successful in fruit breeding,
was awarded the Society's large Gold Medal. A similar Medal
went to Dr. Alfred Rehder, curator of the Arnold Arboretum of
Harvard University. Dr. Rehder ranked as one of the great
botanists of his time and his stature grew with each passing year.
His book, Manual of Trees and Shrubs, is found on the desks of
practicing horticulturists throughout the land.
The H. H. Hunnewell Gold Medal, which is only given for
estates, was awarded to Mrs. William Hewson Baltzell for her
place in Dover known as "Elm Bank."
60 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
A Silver Medal was awarded to Mrs. George D. Forbes of
North Egremont for her estate known as "Orchard Farm" and
another to Mrs. Charles C. Griswold for her estate at Stockbridge
It was voted to award a Blue Ribbon Certificate to a garden
at Westfield, Mass., known as "Grandmother's Garden" and
maintained as a public project. This garden, colonial in type, was
developed under the direction of Mrs. Albert E. Fowler, the
design being drawn by Thomas Desmond of Simsbury, Conn. The
garden, still in existence, is surrounded by a traditional white
picket fence, and the paths are paved with stones from old walls.
A sundial in the center rests on an ancient millstone and from it
radiate beds bordered with handmade bricks. In the planting are
herb and lily gardens. The garden was named in honor of a
woman widely known as Grandmother Steiger, an enthusiastic
gardener during her long life.
A Blue Ribbon Certificate was also voted to Alfred H. Mar-
chant of Winchester, Mass., for an extensive wild garden.
An unusual award was that of a Blue Ribbon Certificate to a
circle at the corner of two streets in Brookline which had been
planted with exceptional skill and good taste. The design for the
planting was made by Sidney Shurcliff, landscape architect of
Boston, and work was done by the Brookline Committee on
Planting Trees, E. B. Dane, chairman.
Two other rather exceptional awards were made. One was a
Garden Certificate given to the City of Newton, Mass., for excel-
lent planting around the new city hall. The other was a Garden
Certificate to the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
of Springfield, Mass., for the planting of the grounds around the
home of that organization. It was felt that these two plantings
were inspirational and that attention should be called to them.
The year 1937 closed was a favorable balance of $2,880.79,
although Horticulture had lost $182.05, and the Fall Show
$1,026.74, and with a new Trustee in the person of Robert
1938— A TRANQUIL YEAR ENDS
WITH A HURRICANE
IT WAS a tranquil year on which the Society entered in Jan-
uary of 1938, although certain disturbing undercurrents were
to reach the surface at the year's end. The number of mem-
bers had finally passed the nine thousand mark and the Secretary
was dreaming of 10,000 in the months ahead.
The Spring Show opened auspiciously and made a profit of
$19,458.50, which amount was considered reasonably satisfactory
in view of the times, although down four thousand dollars from
the previous year. The attendance fluctuated, as several days were
warm and sunny, but on Friday 22,000 persons crowded into the
halls, the largest number for any one day on record at that time.
Perhaps the word "crowded" should be used cautiously, however,
for the aisles had been so broadened and the exhibits so arranged
that very little congestion was felt in spite of the large attend-
ance. This was a measure to which the Exhibition Committee and
the Show Manager had given much thought. It had been neces-
sary to make a slight reduction in the number of exhibits but
the Show had not suffered from that fact and abundant color
pleased the public.
Grand Hall had again been treated as a unit, with a modern
country house surrounded by modern gardens, and again Egbert
Hans had been helpful. The grouping of long-stemmed roses in
tall vases in Paul Revere Hall, so placed that visitors could walk
around them, excited much favorable comment.
One of the most important events of the year was the adoption
of new By-Laws at the annual meeting in May. This was to keep
abreast of changes taking place since the publication of the By-
Laws formulated under the direction of Mr. Burrage in 1930.
These newer By-Laws are still in force at this writing, although
62 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
several important amendments have been added. They may be
consulted at any time, of course, at Horticultural Hall.
In his address at the annual meeting President Webster dis-
cussed several matters that had been called to his attention. He
said that some of the older members had wondered at the size
of the staff in the Hall and the extent of their activities. He
thought that these people might have in mind the years not long
before when the Society's work was carried on by the Secretary
and the Librarian along with a janitor and when all correspondence
was done with pen and ink. Mr. Webster then said that the So-
ciety had not become less prosperous because of its increased
activities but had paid its way through its period of expansion
and was better off financially than when it had only a thousand
members and three employes. He expressed his pride in the
building as one of the city's architectural landmarks, but wished
that there might be a canopy or marquee over the entrance to
mark the entrance doors and provide a greater feeling of friendli-
Mr. Wheeler made his final report as Chairman of the Com-
mittee on Exhibitions. He had given full support to the Spring
Shows, but had a lingering doubt as to the course being pursued.
He remembered the successful Show at Horticultural Hall in
1932 and wondered if the huge effort and expenditure at Me-
chanics Building were justified.
William Ellery, speaking for the Prize Committee, recom-
mended that the Gold Medal be given only to exhibits of excep-
tional distinction. The Committee felt that Silver Medals should
be awarded for exhibits of outstanding merit and Bronze Medals
for those of high average value, all this to make the Silver and
Bronze Medals more highly appreciated. A plan whereby the
score was made the basis of medal awards had been eliminated
but this had not reduced the number of medals bestowed by the
judges. It may be said that much difficulty was found in putting
Mr. Ellery's recommendations into effect. Exhibitors continued to
feel that a high score should merit a Gold Medal.
Another recommendation, however, was put into immediate
effect and has been continued. It requires that the awarding of
the Society's medals be postponed until after the first day of the
A TRANQUIL YEAR ENDS WITH A HURRICANE 63
Show, thus prolonging the interest of the exhibitors and the public
and making the work of the judges less arduous.
Mr. Webster was reelected President at the annual meeting.
Dr. Elmer D. Merrill and William P. Walcott were added to the
Board of Trustees at this meeting. Later Winthrop L. Carter was
chosen to fill out the unexpired term of Robert H. Roland, who
had resigned to become Secretary of the Society of American
Florists and Ornamental Horticulturists with headquarters in
Chicago. James Methven was promoted to be Chairman of the
Committee on Prizes, which position Mr. Roland had held, and
Edward Norberg was appointed to fill the vacancy on the Com-
The Library had a busy year. Five hundred more books than
in 1937 were borrowed, a total of 5,222. The increase in the num-
ber of books circulated by mail was noticeable and yet a greater
number of people visited the reading room. The Librarian re-
ported a surprising demand for material on special genera and
groups of plants, uncovering a weakness in the Library's re-
sources which needed to be strengthened. Opening the Library in
the evening during the Fall Shows proved a successful experi-
ment, with many interested visitors, some of whom had not
known before that such a Library existed. A Society booth at the
Spring Show, manned by members of the Library staff had
become wholly worthwhile.
Business conditions were not good in 1938 but Horticulture
made slow gains, with a circulation exceeding 30,000. Advertis-
ing shrank a little but subscriptions were up $3,000. The paper
had a net income of $409.
Mr. Nehrling was elected President of the Society of American
Florists and Ornamental Horticulturists in 1938 and presided at
the annual meeting in Toronto. He was presented a chest of silver
as a tribute to his work as President.
The Benevolent Fraternity Fruit and Flower Mission began
its seventieth year of activity in 1938. This well-seasoned or-
ganization had started occupying a room rent free in Horti-
cultural Hall at the invitation of the Board of Trustees in 1925.
Mrs. Emily I. Elliott, the efficient Executive Secretary, in her
annual report appearing in the Year Book of the Society, men-
64 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
tioned the extreme heat of the 1937 Summer, but said it had not
seriously reduced the number of hampers, boxes and baskets from
outlying towns. The number was 705 as against 719 the previous
year. All this material, largely in the form of cut flowers, was
made into bouquets as usual by volunteer labor and delivered to
hospitals, old peoples' home and shut-ins. The Lexington Field
and Garden Club sent in sixty-three Christmas wreaths, along
with "apple Christmas trees" with miniature trimmings and many
gifts. More than 15,000 carnations were received from the Amer-
ican Carnation Society. Eighteen women helped in the distribu-
tion after the Gladiolus Show on the Summer's hottest day — 98
degrees. Thirty-five elderly individuals were provided tickets for
the Spring Show through the kindness of friends. The part taken
by the Society in this good work is not to be overlooked.
News of the death of Nathaniel T. Kidder in July of 1938 was
received with deep sorrow, for Mr. Kidder had been a wheelhorse
in the management of the Society's affairs for many years. He
served as President from 1903 through 1905 and became Chair-
man of the Library Committee following the death of Professor
Charles S. Sargent in 1927. He had been elected a Trustee in
1910 and had won many prizes at the Society's exhibitions and
for his estate. He bequeathed $5,000 to the Society for the benefit
of the Library as well as a collection of books and several paint-
In the course of the year the Society lost another member,
who had kept its interests close to his heart. Edwin Hale Lincoln
of Pittsfield was killed by an automobile at the age of ninety. He
had won fame for his work in photographing wild flowers and
was given a Silver Medal in 1929. Under an arrangement pre-
viously made, the Society inherited some two thousand negatives,
mostly 8 x 10 glass plates, which were moved to Horticultural
Hall and stored in a darkroom which had been improvised from
unused space under the third-story floor.
Charles J. Sander was yet another member of prominence who
passed away in 1938. Mr. Sander, who joined the Society in 1897,
was superintendent of Professor Sargent's estate, Holm Lea, in
Brookline for fifty- three years. Previously he had worked for
Francis Parkman, the famous historian, who was at one time
A TRANQUIL YEAR ENDS WITH A HURRICANE 65
President of the Society. Mr. Sander had received seven Gold
Medals, including the Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal.
As usual near the close of the year, the Trustees announced
various awards based on committee recommendations. The cov-
eted George Robert White Medal of Honor went rather unex-
pectedly to Robert Moses, park commissioner of New York City.
Mr. Moses was not commonly thought of as a great horticulturist,
but the Committee on Special Medals felt that his work in ex-
tending the park system of New York, in the planting and
preservation of trees and in teaching the love of nature to the
younger generation had made him a logical recipient of this award.
Alex Cummings of Bristol, Conn., received the Thomas Roland
Medal, having gained a wide reputation for his success in develop-
ing Korean hybrid chrysanthemums as well as for his work with
other perennials. The Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal went to
Joseph G. Gable of Stewartstown, Pa., for his work as a hy-
bridizer and propagator of rhododendons.
The Gold Medal of the Society was awarded Professor Edward
A. White of Cornell University with this citation: "His teaching
over a long term of years has had a profound influence on the
lives of many horticultural students." A Gold Medal was awarded
David Fairchild of Coconut Grove, Fla. for his great work in
the introduction of new fruits.
A Gold Medal went to Cherry Hill Nurseries of West Newbury
for many years of valued support, especially at the Peony Shows.
A Gold Medal was given John C. Wister, Secretary of the Penn-
sylvania Horticultural Society, adding to his many honors. Mr.
Wister was and is well known as an iris, peony and bulb author-
ity, the author of several books, an expert landscape architect
and a man of high horticultural standing. 1
The Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase was awarded Mr. and Mrs.
Ben: Perley Poore Mosely of Ipswich for an azalea garden set up
by them at the Spring Show, this being considered the outstand-
ing exhibit of the year at any of the Shows. The Albert C. Bur-
rage Porch Prize went to Miss Alice G. Higgins of Newburyport
for a porch attached to her house during the year and overlooking
x He relinquished his position as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Society in 1952.
66 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
A Gold Medal from the William N. Craig Lily Fund was voted
Mr. and Mrs. M. M. Van Beuren of Newport, R. I. as a special
award for their exhibit at the Spring Show in 1938. This exhibit
was so outstanding that Joseph A. Winsock, superintendent for
Mr. and Mrs. Van Beuren, was awarded a special Gold Certificate
for his exceptional skill in the forcing of thirty lily varieties into
full flower at one time — something never before recorded. Mr.
Winsock was an especially able gardener who often exhibited in
Horticultural Hall as well as at Mechanics Building and who
managed a large and elaborate estate at Newport. Later he was
brutally murdered for no apparent reason in one of the green-
houses on the estate.
The recommendations of the Garden Committee were acted
upon favorably as follows:
The award of the H. H. Hunnewell Gold Medal to Mr. and
Mrs. Geoffrey Whitney of Milton for an estate "of unusual ex-
cellence, containing gardens of several types and planted with
much choice material."
The award of the Society's Gold Medal to Appleton Farms,
Ipswich, "a farmstead for three centuries, tilled and cherished as
an habitation by the Appleton family."
The award of the Society's Gold Medal to the Isabella Stewart
Gardner Museum "for the garden court which it contains and
the high quality of the plants shown there."
The award of a Blue Ribbon Certificate to Mrs. Lindsley
Loring of Westwood for "a large collection of irises grown by an
In September of 1938 New England was swept by a devastating
hurricane which did an immense amount of damage to horticultural
property and from which many members of the Society suffered
loss, particularly in the matter of ornamentals. Accordingly it
seemed helpful to have Dr. E. P. Felt of Stamford, Conn., deliver
a lecture on "What To Do About Your Trees." Dr. Felt, a
recognized expert, gave his listeners much useful advice. This was
the first major hurricane in New England for a hundred years.
Many months were required for the restoration of gardens and
estates. Miss Keener resigned as associate editor.
In November George L. Fischer of Maplewood, N. J. lectured
tlb? (&arbnt (CUth iFriterattmt
c l)c91ta55acnu5clfe^rltcuHuraI cVcicKj
Sc/'tf// Awarded to the Society in 1Q45 by the Garden Club
Federation of Massachusetts.
A TRANQUIL YEAR ENDS WITH A HURRICANE 67
on "Gourds and Gourd Culture," this lecture being given in co-
operation with the New England Gourd Society, which had be-
come a very active organization.
The Library made one purchase of such importance that it
should have special mention. It was Jean Simon Lerner's "Fi-
gures des Plantes Economiques," which included hundreds of
flowers and vegetables of the late 18th century in eight volumes.
The set remains a rare item.
There were two noteworthy gifts. One was the library of the
late William J. Stewart, presented by his daughter, Mrs. Ellen
Stewart Crouse. Mr. Stewart was well known as the founder of
Horticulture and its editor for many years. The second gift was
the Frances Torrey Norton Memorial from the Herb Society of
America, a collection of books of special interest to persons grow-
Much had taken place in 1938 but unfortunately the year
ended with a deficit of $2,333.77.
1939— THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
TAKES DRASTIC ACTION
SOME cold, hard and rather unpleasant facts confronted the
Trustees when they met for their first session in January
of 1939. Business conditions were not good. Europe was
having a war. The income from investments was shrinking. There
was red ink in the books of the Treasurer. In addition, member-
ships had failed to show an increase for the first time since Mr.
Farrington became Secretary. Instead there had been a small
decline, falling below 9,000. Thus the 10,000 mark, a dream of
the year before, had gone aglimmering.
The Trustees took what seemed the one obvious path by which
to meet the situation. They voted to recommend at the annual
meeting in May that the dues be raised from two dollars to three
dollars. In the meantime they were obliged to take measures
which would make such a change possible, for the dues of the
Society, strange as it may seem, are fixed by law. The articles of
incorporation, as of 1829, set the dues at two dollars and there
they had remained for more than a century. It is to be remem-
bered, however, that this amount made the dues seem fairly high
125 years ago.
At times the Society had tried to increase its membership in-
come by imposing initiation fees, but that plan had merely re-
duced the number of membership applications. Now it was neces-
sary to go to the General Court again and a bill was introduced
through a friendly member permitting the dues to be raised to a
sum not exceeding five dollars. The five-dollar limit was wisely
decided on because of possible future contingencies. The bill was
passed and the governor signed it.
The increase of one dollar was accepted at the annual meet-
ing by a vote of 101 to 11. Then began a downward curve in
THE TRUSTEES TAKE DRASTIC ACTION 69
membership which lasted until 1942, when a low point of 6,850
was reached. From then on the curve was upward again, although
the number of life members continued to decline.
James Methven, now Chairman of the Committee on Prizes,
revealed some of the aims and methods of his group, surprising
many members by stating that as many as 122 judges had worked
at the eight Shows of the year. He explained that before each
Show the Committee met and discussed the possible choices at
some length. An attempt was made to avoid using the same
judges year after year. Information on the men available as
judges was to be found in an excellent card index which had
proved very useful. This was an arrangement worked out by a
previous Committee under the direction of William Ellery, to
whom, Mr. Methven said, his Committee was greatly indebted.
Robert Stone had to report, as Chairman of the Committee on
Lectures and Publications, that business conditions had not been
favorable for magazine expansion, although Horticulture had not
suffered greatly. There had been a backward season, which had
affected advertising, but the subscription income was $3,000
greater than in the previous year. About $800 had come in from
the sale of books. "The Gardener's Travel Book" by E. I. Far-
rington was being widely distributed. Mrs. Hollis Webster's book
on herbs and Mrs. H. H. Buxton's begonia book, sponsored by
the Society, were outstanding. Mr. Stone emphasized that the pub-
lication of a magazine with a national circulation is a business in
itself, with ramifications covering many fields. He pointed out,
however, that it worked in particularly well with the activities at
Horticultural Hall, offering an oportunity to present the Society's
work to thousands of persons who otherwise would know nothing
about it. He said that Horticulture had been of great benefit in
building up the membership of the Pennsylvania Horticultural So-
ciety and the Horticultural Society of New York, as well as that
of the home organization.
An important lecture was given in January in co-operation
with the New England Wild Flower Preservation Society. The
speaker was Dr. W. H. Camp of the New York Botanical Garden,
his subject being "Hunting Wild Flowers in Mexico." In April
yo TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
George L. Slate of the State Experiment Station at Geneva, N. Y.
lectured on "Lilies and How to Grow Them." Mr. Slate is the
son-in-law of the late Dr. Ernest H. Wilson.
A Camellia Show in January had now become established. Al-
though small and held in the side hall, the material shown was
The Daffodil Show had become a permanent event, on the
day of the annual meeting and the day after. A third day was
added in 1939 for a display of azaleas from Ernest Borowski's
greenhouse. About 3,100 came to see this Show. The Tulip Show,
established the year before, when it was separated from the
Daffodil Show, attracted 2,745 visitors.
The garden clubs took over Grand Hall at the Spring Exhibi-
tion in 1939 with a unified exhibit of great charm. A colonial
house on the stage faced an attractive garden with a fountain.
Both the house and the fountain were designed by Miss Helen
Brown of the Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture for
Women. A knot garden set up by Sherman Eddy of Hartford was
one of the features of this Show. Another was an azalea exhibit
which won the Gold Medals of both the Horticultural Society of
New York and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for
Ernest Borowski. Albert A. Hulley staged such an attractive rose
garden that it won the President's Cup and the trophy of the
Massachusetts Department of Agriculture. The Garden Club of
America awarded the Sarah Todd Bulkley Silver Medal to Mrs.
Irving C. Wright, Chairman of the Massachusetts Garden Clubs
Exhibition Committee, and the Gold Medal of the Massachusetts
Horticultural Society went to the entire committee for the "horti-
cultural excellence and tasteful design" of the house and garden
in Grand Hall. The Spring Show was attended by 86,199 visitors
and made a profit of $16,668.85.
This was a period when certain estate owners and some garden-
ers were devoting their best efforts to decorative and even dra-
matic displays of fruits and vegetables, arranging them in what was
commonly known as the English style. One of the best of such
displays was seen at the 1939 show. It was set up for Dr. Thomas
Barbour by his gardener, Louis Campagnolo, and attracted much
THE TRUSTEES TAKE DRASTIC ACTION 71
attention. A few years later this type of exhibit had ceased to
appear, partly because of the expense involved but also because
few men capable of doing the work could be found. These changes
are inevitable. In this period the huge bomb chrysanthemums with
a single flower to a stem which had long been featured at Autumn
Shows were disappearing. It was costing a dollar a flower to pro-
duce them, and they required an undue amount of greenhouse
The attendance of 7,611 at the Fruit and Vegetable Show was
considered good. As a matter of fact it topped by six hundred that
at the Autumn Show. The latter was a beautiful Show, neverthe-
less, including as it did a chrysanthemum garden set up by Peter
Arnott for Mr. and Mrs. Edwin S. Webster which was awarded the
Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase as the most outstanding exhibit of
the year at any of the Society's Shows. A second very lovely
chrysanthemum garden was arranged for Mr. and Mrs. Francis
B. Crowninshield. Good as this Show was, it had a net loss of
The Committee on Special Medals, of which Oakes Ames was
Chairman, made its annual recommendations to the Trustees in
September and they were immediately adopted. Dr. George T.
Moore, director of the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis,
was awarded the George Robert White Medal of Honor for
eminent service to horticulture as shown by his work in develop-
ing and maintaining one of the world's most important botanical
and horticultural institutions.
August Koch, the recipient of the Thomas Roland Medal, had
just been retired as head of the Chicago Park System, due to
age limitations. He, like Dr. Moore, combined horticultural skill
with unusual executive ability. The park system of Chicago grew
to remarkable proportions during his long term of office and he
helped to build a collection of conservatory plants at Garfield
Park unequalled anywhere else in the country.
It was quite appropriate that the Jackson Dawson Memorial
Medal should go to Walter D. Brownell of Little Compton, R. I.,
as Mr. Dawson, like Mr. Brownell, was especially interested in
the hybridization of roses. Mr. Brownell's work along this line
72 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
had been highly scientific, resulting in the development of climb-
ing and bush roses suited to the colder sections of the country
under the name of sub-zero varieties.
In awarding its large Gold Medal to Dr. William A. Taylor of
Washington, D. C. the Society bestowed an honor which perhaps
should have gone to him years before, for he was now retired
after long and valuable service as head of the Bureau of Plant
To Colonel R. H. Montgomery of Coconut Grove, Fla., went
the Society's Medal because, although as an amateur, he had
built up one of the finest collections of tropical and semi-tropical
plants to be found in this country, assembling them at what is now
called the Fairchild Tropical Garden at Coconut Grove, Fla.
There are some persons whose contributions are more or less
anonymous, but none the less important. As Executive Secretary
of the Horticultural Society of New York Mrs. Elizabeth Peter-
son was long the moving spirit in much of that Society's activities.
She had done much to promote the success of the International
Flower Show in New York and her assistance to the garden clubs
in the New York area will be attested by the members of those
organizations. She was awarded a Gold Medal.
As a kind of anomaly the demands on the Society for informa-
tion, advice and help in various other ways greatly increased in
1939, even while the list of members was becoming smaller. In
particular, additional space was needed by various organizations
which wished to establish headquarters at Horticultural Hall.
This need was met by flooring over the upper part of the smaller
exhibition hall, which was a very lofty room, in this way provid-
ing office space for the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts,
the Boston Mycological Club, the New England Gourd Society,
the New England Gladiolus Society and the Herb Society of
America. The garden clubs had long wanted accommodations large
enough for an executive office with a permanent secretary. The
room now provided for them was adequate in size, conveniently
located, well-lighted and pleasant.
Only a nominal rental charge was made for the new offices, but
Horticultural Hall now housed six organizations of a horticultural
nature in addition to the Horticultural Society itself, with all its
THE TRUSTEES TAKE DRASTIC ACTION 73
different departments, thus making it the largest and most com-
plete Garden Center in the United States. The opening of the
new rooms was made the occasion for an "open house/' which
was attended by about 1,500 people. The additional space was
provided at a cost of $4,000. In 1939 the Trustees voted to per-
mit the resumption of rummage sales in the Hall, after excluding
them a second time.
The demand for additional services already noted extended to
the Library, which had almost a thousand borrowers, some of
them living in distant states. At the end of 1939 the book collec-
tion comprised 26,377 bound volumes, of which number 522
were added during the year.
Although 1,300 packages were being mailed each year, very few
books were lost. Also, only a few were removed surreptitiously
from the shelves. The total loss had been an average of twelve
books a year. No thefts of books of great value had been discov-
Prizes offered by Horticulture for garden club Year Books
brought in several hundred such books, some of them having
unusual merit. This offer of prizes, made yearly, has been helpful
to the Library and to a host of garden clubs. After the prizes
have been announced, all the Year Books received are placed as
an exhibit in the Library, attracting much attention. Three travel-
ing collections were made up in 1939 and the Year Books went
to many parts of the country, with calls even from California and
Alabama. It soon became necessary to make reservations far
ahead. Club officers, program chairman and members studied
The Society found itself faced in 1939 with problems having
to do with the construction of a new subway under Huntington
Avenue, with a station and underpass at the corner of Massachu-
setts Avenue. This work was to be underway for a long time and
to create much annoyance from noise and dust. Competent engi-
neers were engaged to make sure the building would not be dam-
aged by the construction work. The subway was eventually to
prove beneficial to the Society. Both the North and South Stations
could then be reached more readily and, conversely, easier access
provided to Horticultural Hall.
74 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
Early in the year the death of General Francis H. Appleton
was announced. General Appleton was President of the Society
from 1896 to 1900 and a Trustee for many years more. He was
very active in the effort to obtain a new building for the Society,
then occupying the Hall on Tremont Street.
In 1900, with the new structure under way, O. B. Hadwen,
President of the Worcester County Horticultural Society, was
also elected President of this Society, but General Appleton was
requested to remain as Chairman of the Building Committee
until the new Hall had been completed. His portrait hangs in the
The increase in membership fees raised the income from that
source to $17,633.50 as against $15,963 the previous year, al-
though the total membership was smaller. The increase from in-
vestments increased more than one thousand dollars and Horti-
culture contributed $1,090.99 from earnings. Yet the year ended
with a deficit of $2,961.62, partly because of necessary repairs
and other increased building expenses.
1940— A SUCCESSFUL SPRING SHOW
BRINGS CLEARER SKIES
THE financial skies grew clearer in 1940 in spite of deteri-
orating business conditions. The Spring Show drew an
increasing number of visitors, with a consequent profit of
$24,085.30. The income from investments showed a marked in-
crease, due largely to the sagacity of the treasurer, John S. Ames,
and the amount received from membership fees continued to
increase, not withstanding that the membership itself was still
tending downward. The explanation of the last item was to be
found, of course, in the increase of one dollar in annual dues. If
we may be permitted to look ahead to the end of the year, we
will find the Treasurer's books revealing an excess of $6,339.50
in income over expenditure, in spite of a $792 loss by Horticulture
and a falling off in the receipts from Mount Auburn Cemetery
to only $935. The check from the last named source was to be
the smallest in half a century. This could not be explained by
a lower death rate, however, for the income from the sale of
lots was to be much greater the next year. At this time the
cemetery fund had grown to $55,053.52, all the result of the
agreement made when the Society and Mount Auburn Cemetery
The Spring Show had such an important part in the Society's
activities that it should be considered at once, only mentioning
that it was preceded by a small but interesting Camellia Show
in January. Much of the Spring Show's success was due to the
co-operation of the Massachusetts Nurserymen's Association,
which sponsored many of the exhibits in Grand Hall. Ray M.
Koon pointed out this fact in his report as Chairman of the Ex-
hibition Committee. He also paid tribute to Mrs. S. V. R. Crosby
and Will C. Curtis, who combined their resources in staging a
remarkable Nature Trail, and to the Waltham Field Station for a
76 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
soilless culture exhibit which, as an educational feature, aroused
much favorable comment. The garden clubs were very active, set-
ting up a beautiful rose garden and many flower arrangements.
The Nature Trail received the Bulkley Medal of the Garden
Club of America, while an elaborate rock garden won the Gold
Medal of American Rock Garden Society for Ormond Hamilton.
The President's Cup went to William T. Walke & Sons for a
group of amaryllis, with plants which have seldom been sur-
passed. The Gold Medal of the Horticultural Society of New
York was given to the garden clubs for their rose garden, with
Mrs. William Stuart Forbes receiving credit as its designer.
Mrs. Galen Stone had again sent in the wonderful acacias
grown in her greenhouse at Marion. As the Roland acacias had
been sold by that time, Mrs. Stone had the most important col-
lection in New England. They received the Gold Medal of the
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. A popularity contest at this
Show, decided by the votes of visitors, indicated that the public
found particular pleasure in a bog garden arranged by Harlan P.
Kelsey, Inc. The attendance at the Show was 94,487.
It appeared at the end of the year, when the award was an-
nounced, that the Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase had again been
bestowed upon an exhibit at one of the smaller Shows, rather
than at the Spring Exhibition. The winner in this year of 1940,
the Cherry Hill Nurseries, received this much coveted award for
a comprehensive exhibit of peonies, azaleas and rhododendrons
at the June Show. It is doubtful if the Society has ever had a
more consistent exhibitor or a warmer supporter than this firm,
without which the June Shows would have had little appeal over
a long term of years. It was a matter of regret to find the name
of the affable David C. Stranger, long an active member of this
concern, in the necrology list for 1939.
The name Harvest Show had been adopted for the exhibition
formerly known as the Fruit and Vegetable Show, as more fitting,
considering the nature of the displays. A cornucopia exhibit of the
Massachusetts State College was a feature in 1940.
The Autumn Show was not as original in design as some of
those which had preceded it, but brought a very heavy outpouring
of chrysanthemums, including cascades. It is worth mentioning,
A SUCCESSFUL SHOW BRINGS CLEAR SKIES 77
perhaps, that the yellow form of this very attractive type had
its origin in the greenhouses of Edwin S. Webster, where Peter
Arnott was in charge. It carried the name of Jane Hart and that
variety is still the one most often grown. The trailing habit of
this chrysanthemum made it highly popular with exhibitors and
it was soon used extensively in New York as well as in Boston.
The Autumn Show had a loss of slightly over one thousand dol-
lars, but the fact had become rather generally accepted that
this Show must be a contribution to the public pleasure just as
much as the Summer Shows.
It is a matter of note that the Year Book for 1940 was the last
one in which the name of Marian Roby Case appears as Chair-
man of the Committee on the Exhibition of the Products of Chil-
dren's Gardens, from which it had not been missing since 1925.
Miss Case, who was intensely interested in work with children,
had made a record as Chairman of this important committee
almost without parallel in the history of the Society. Not only
had she given many hours each year to the planning of the ex-
hibitions, but she had repeatedly offered generous prizes at the
Shows besides donating a large number of bronze medals as
awards for children's gardens. She often expressed surprise, as
had many other persons, that so few parents came to see the
exhibits made by their children, and, for that matter, that few of
the Trustees took the time to attend.
The 4-H Clubs began exhibiting at the Children's Show while
Miss Case was serving as committee Chairman, taking over the
Lecture Hall and adding greatly to the extent of the Shows. A
judging contest was also inaugurated, bringing as many as fifty
contestants from many parts of the state.
Miss Case had mentioned in her report for 1938 that children
had made their first exhibit at Horticultural Hall just fifty years
previous in the form of a window garden. It was a long cry from
that humble beginning to an exhibition that filled three halls. The
most rapid growth had come in recent years and Miss Case was
to be credited with much of the momentum which it had acquired.
Samuel J. Goddard succeeded her as committee Chairman.
The Committee on Gardens made only one Medal award in
1940. That was the award of the H. H. Hunnewell Medal to
78 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
Mr. and Mrs. Clement S. Houghton for a charming estate in
Chestnut Hill which had become widely known for its rock gar-
dens, its rhododendrons and its wild flower plantings. The Com-
mittee then introduced an innovation by recommending that
scrolls be awarded communities, schools, institutions or com-
mercial establishments which had used planting material so as to
enhance the beauty of their surroundings, and to encourage similar
activities. It was the suggestion of Harold S. Ross that this devi-
ation from the usual custom be tried and the Trustees agreed.
So we find a Scroll being given the Commonwealth of Massachu-
setts in recognition of public service, through the Department of
Public Works of the Commonwealth, in the design and planting
on the Worcester Turnpike in the Town of Northborough;
For the sagacious relation of intersecting highways and their junctures
with a steep hillside;
For straightforward simplicity of mass form well suited to modern
conditions and for observation from rapidly moving vehicles;
For freedom from intricacy and pretentiousness in the selection and
planting of indigenous groundcovers on the hillside;
By which means public highways are made both useful and sightly.
We find the presentation of a Scroll to the City of Boston
taking the form of a simple ceremony at City Hall, with the Presi-
dent of the Society, Mr. Webster, making a brief speech as he
hands the Scroll to the then mayor, Maurice J. Tobin. Later the
Scroll was to be found on the wall in the office of the then super-
intendent of parks, William T. Long. This Scroll carried the
following inscription :
For the wisdom shown by the City's duly constituted authorities
more than a century ago in approving and encouraging the under-
taking to set apart land as a Public Garden;
By later acquiring the Public Garden for the City, to make it the
keystone connecting the Common and the old city with Commonwealth
Avenue and the new city;
By maintaining its design and planting in conformity with its original
By the wise judgment with which alterations have been made with-
out injury but rather to enhance the Garden's charm;
A SUCCESSFUL SHOW BRINGS CLEAR SKIES 79
By continued capable maintenance, which has ever increased the
beauty of the trees, shrubs and flowers to the end of extending their
use to the pleasure of the citizens;
By all of which means the amenities and good name of the City of
Boston have been nourished.
A Scroll awarded to the Town of Winchester was presented
by William T. Ellery, then Chairman of the Committee on Gar-
dens, at a largely attended public meeting. This Scroll carried the
In recognition of the excellent judgment and rare good taste made
manifest by the town's officials in the planning and planting of its
public parks and in the beautification of its highways.
In recognition also of the intelligent use of trees, shrubs and other
suitable material on the part of the town's home owners in such a way
as to harmonize with the efforts of those in authority to make Win-
chester what it has in fact become, outstanding among the Common-
wealth's many beautiful communities.
A fourth Scroll went to the City of Everett in recognition of
the skillful planning and planting of the Albert N. Parlin Junior
Sir Arthur William Hill, Director of Kew Gardens, was
awarded the George Robert White Medal in 1940. Sir Arthur
had occupied his position as Director since 1922 and had done
much to influence horticulture in Great Britain.
The award of the Thomas Roland Medal to George H. Pring
of the Missouri Botanical Garden was in recognition of his im-
portant work in the study and hybridization of aquatic plants as
well as his general horticultural knowledge.
Being a very modest man, G. G. Nearing of Ridgewood, N. J.
had done much important work with woody plants, particularly
rhododendrons, before the full extent of his accomplishments was
realized. He was awarded the Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal,
an award which Mr. Dawson would surely have approved.
William A. Dayton of the United States Department of Agri-
culture, the recipient of the Society's Gold Medal in 1940, had
devoted himself particularly to forestry but had been active in
80 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
other fields and was Vice President of the Washington Academy
of Sciences. He represented the Department of Agriculture on
the editorial committee of "Standardized Plant Names."
Other Gold Medals were awarded in 1940 as follows:
To F. A. Bartlett of Stamford, Conn., widely known for his
scientific work in the study of tree diseases. He founded the
Bartlett Tree Expert Company, the Bartlett School of Tree Surgery
and the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory and was one of the
founders of the National Shade Tree Conference.
To Alpheus T. De La Mare as one of the outstanding figures
in the field of trade publications, a man who had done much for
the advancement of horticulture through his paper, the Florist 7 s
Exchange, and by means of the books he published.
To Arthur Herrington, who had distinguished himself as the
manager of the New York Flower Show over a long period.
The annual meeting in 1940 was presided over by William
Ellery, Vice President, in the absence of Mr. Webster. The Presi-
dent sent a letter, however, in which he discussed the possibility
of connecting Horticultural Hall and Symphony Hall by an
underground passageway, utilizing the subway entrance. Later
this plan received very favorable consideration, especially from
the Committee on Exhibitions, but the Trustees of the transit
system promptly vetoed it. The idea of connecting the Hall
with the subway was then abandoned.
Mr. Methven, continuing Chairman of the Prize Committee,
reported another progressive step, the practice of sending the
reports of the meetings of both the Prize and Exhibition commit-
tees to all the members of each committee. This was in line with
an effort to provide complete accord between these two important
Mrs. John Gardner Coolidge became a Trustee at this meet-
ing, and was promptly made a member of the Committee on
Lectures and Publications. This was the committee responsible
for the Year Book, from which it was voted to omit the list of
new members in 1940 in the interest of economy. The Year Book
contained, however, a detailed account of the operations of each
department in Horticultural Hall, as they were carried on at
that time. Much surprise was expressed, it appears, at the extent
A SUCCESSFUL SHOW BRINGS CLEAR SKIES 81
of these operations, especially by members who never had visited
Horticultural Hall, including some hundreds who lived in distant
The Society was active in 1940 in efforts to combat the spread
of the Japanese beetle, which had begun to invade New England,
and to aid in the control of the elm leaf beetle. It issued a
bulletin about the Japanese beetle and its locations at that time.
1 94 1— THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM
IN HIS address at the annual meeting in 1941 President
Webster spoke of the serenity and reasonable prosperity
which prevailed at that time. He was a business man, how-
ever, and could see trouble ahead. There would be greatly in-
creased taxes, he forecast, with a consequent decrease in spending
which might seriously affect the Society. It was his belief, never-
theless, that there should be no abatement in the Society's ac-
tivities, but, on the contrary, increased efforts by each depart-
ment to be of greater service. To emphasize his meaning he said
that such activities were being kept alive across the water, even
under stress of war and with bombs dealing daily destruction.
Then he read the following cablegram:
The Council and Fellows of the Royal Horticultural Society, gath-
ered in London for their annual meeting and their first Flower Show
of the season, send affectionate thanks to their fellow gardeners in
America for all the sympathy, encouragement and assistance that they
have freely expressed and offered.
The contented feeling which seemed to exist, despite the
rumblings of a distant conflict, found expression at the Spring
Flower Show, to which people flocked in great numbers and
which earned a net profit of $37,238.42. This was highly gratify-
ing, inasmuch as the annual budget at that date called for a
profit of only $20,000. The actual attendance, somewhat less than
the newspapers announced, was 108,000, but this was the largest
gate since the Centennial Exhibition in 1929. The winding walks,
an innovation in 1940, added much to the effect, and the Show
Manager, Mr. Nehrling, received many compliments for the
expert way in which the great crowds were handled.
The stage at this Show was occupied by Mrs. Galen Stone's
magnificent acacias, the value of which as show material has
Arno H. Nekrling, Who Became Executive Secretary in 1947
THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM 83
already been noted. It was no surprise that this exhibit won
the Society's Gold Medal and the Medal of the Pennsylvania
Horticultural Society and that at the end of the year it received
the Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase as the most outstanding exhibit
at any of the season's exhibitions.
A formal rose garden set up for Mr. and Mrs. Francis B.
Crowninshield by their capable superintendent Thomas Murray
was awarded the President's Cup. Harlan P. Kelsey, Inc. won the
Society's Gold Medal and the medal of the Horticultural Society
of New York, in addition to the trophy of the Department of
Agriculture, for a well-staged naturalistic garden.
Wilfrid Wheeler, who had become much interested in the grow-
ing of hollies on Cape Cod, had an outstanding exhibit illustrating
the conservation of holly trees which won him the Bronze Medal
of the New England Wild Flower Preservation Society.
It developed after this Show that the charitable person who
for several years had been buying a handful of tickets for under-
privileged persons, in order that they might see the great exhibi-
tions and thereby gain new hope and courage, was Mrs. Geoffrey
Whitney, whose benefactions were made through the Benevolent
Fraternity Fruit and Flower Mission.
Another sidelight on the Show was a procession of little ex-
press wagons in which sod was being removed from the Breck
exhibit at the end of the week for use in the backyard gardens
sponsored by the Boston Tuberculosis Association.
The Chrysanthemum Show in November assumed unusual im-
portance as it was combined with the fortieth show of the Chrys-
anthemum Society of America and brought many visitors from
distant states. Because of these factors the cost of the Show was
reduced to $999.63. The committee rooms in the Hall were
opened to the Chrysanthemum Society for various meetings.
In the course of 1941 the final group of books bequeathed the
Society by Albert C. Burrage, were passed on to the Library
by Mrs. Burrage. Among the 2,300 volumes were some rare and
important items. Besides the books there was an excellent collec-
tion of water color drawings of orchids.
The book collection had been increased by 536 volumes apart
from those in the Burrage collection. This gave a total of 26,913
84 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
volumes on the shelves. Among the additions was Elwes' and
Henry's "Trees of Great Britain and Ireland," on which the
Society bid successfully at a Red Cross benefit sale in London
by the Royal Horticultural Society.
The Library Committee was delighted in the course of the
year to receive a large deerskin from Mr. Webster for use in the
binding of important books. Similar gifts had been made twice
before, and were to be continued for many years.
Special efforts were made through the year 1941 to put Horti-
cultural Hall in the best possible physical condition in anticipa-
tion of probable shortages. Two important improvements were
made, as well. One, long needed, was the installation of a com-
bined freight and passenger elevator to replace the old-fashioned
hand hoist which had been in operation for forty years. Work
on this elevator was hurried as fast as conditions permitted be-
cause of the growing belief that circumstances might require hold-
ing the Spring Shows in Horticultural Hall.
The second improvement was a change in the electric service,
alternating current being substituted for the direct current sys-
tem which had long been the only system available but had
several disadvantages. The new system had come into the neigh-
borhood only after months of pressure exerted by this Society
and those in charge of Symphony Hall. Direct current still came
into the building, however, for use in operating the No. 1 elevator,
inasmuch as any change in the powering of this elevator would
have meant installing a new motor at heavy cost.
The opening of classes in flower arrangement for women liv-
ing in city apartments aroused much interest and brought favor-
able comments from many parts of the country. Mrs. Arthur P.
Teele conducted these classes, which were largely attended. It was
pleasing to observe the eager interest of women learning how to
decorate their homes with flowers.
By the end of the year the Herb Society of America, with
headquarters in Horticultural Hall, had undertaken the task of
disseminating exact information about the growing of herbs
commercially, so that people might be deterred from embarking
on a venture sure to fail.
The Society suffered a severe loss in April of 1941 in the death
THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM 85
of Mrs. Bayard Thayer, who had been a life member since 1900
and was the first woman to be elected to the Board of Trustees.
She was a member of the Garden Committee for seven years,
much of the time as Chairman, a member of the Executive Com-
mittee for eight years and a member of the Library Committee
for nine years. In 1925 she offered $250 in prizes for the cultiva-
tion of wild flowers and in 1929 gave the Society an automatic
slide lantern. Many exhibits had come from Mrs. Thayer's beauti-
ful estate in Lancaster through the years and the broad-spreading
yew, Taxis cuspidata Thyerae was originated there through the
work of her superintendent William Anderson. Mrs. Thayer
had resigned from the Board in 1940 because of advanced age
and had been made an Honorary Trustee.
A popular professor emeritus at what was then the Massa-
chusetts State College, Frank A. Waugh, was awarded the George
Robert White Medal of Honor in 1941. Professor Waugh taught
landscape gardening at the Massachusetts State College for forty
years, having been called there from the University of Vermont.
His work in systematic pomology opened an entirely new field
in this branch of science.
The Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal went to a man who had
distinguished himself in many lines of horticultural endeavor,
Frederick Huber Howard. Although he had worked with many
flowers, this Californian was best known for his rose creations,
especially the Los Angeles rose, which had helped to spread the
fame of his native city.
C. J. Van Bourgondien, recipient of the Thomas Roland Medal,
was a Hollander, as his name indicated, born at Hillegom in the
heart of the bulb growing district. He traveled widely selling
bulbs and finally settled in this country with a business of his
Three Gold Medals were awarded on recommendation of the
Committee on Special Medals, with Harold S. Ross as Chairman.
One went to John S. Ames, who had been active in several fields
of horticulture for many years. He was one of the trusted advisers
of Dr. Charles S. Sargent, head of the Arnold Arboretum, and it
was largely through his generosity that the now famous Harvard
Forest in Petersham was made possible.
86 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
A second Gold Medal was awarded Henry Hicks, whose name
was familiar to all persons with a love of trees. Mr. Hicks, a
nurseryman on Long Island, had a special fondness for ever-
greens and his name will be perpetuated by the popular Taxus
Blueberries had brought fame to Miss Elizabeth White of
Whitesbog, N. J. when the Society's Gold Medal was awarded
to her. She lived in a section where blueberries and cranberries
had been harvested long before Columbus discovered America.
In 191 1 Miss White and her father began co-operating with Dr.
Frederick V. Colville of the U. S. Department of Agriculture
to improve blueberries through cultivation, and she continued
to give her attention to this subject for many years, becoming
largely responsible for what is now an important industry. More
recently she assisted in the improvement of the American holly.
The H. H. Hunnewell Medal for an estate of three acres or
more was not awarded in 1941. Also, the Committee on Gardens
made a point of economy because of the President's warnings;
it recommended only one Gold Medal award, the recipient being
Mrs. C. D. Armstrong for a large formal garden on her estate
at Osterville. This was a very attractive place, with beautiful
planting and several handsome specimens of box. The Society's
Silver Medal was given Charles O. Dexter for the excellent
manner in which his place in Sandwich had been laid out and
A Silver Medal was awarded also to Mrs. Charles G. Weld
for a charming Spring garden, at her home in Brookline.
The well kept lawn, trees and shrubs and the border plantings
in the park facing the church structure of the First Church of
Christ, Scientist, adjacent to Horticultural Hall, won a Scroll for
the church organization.
Delphiniums of unusual size and excellence grown at the home
of L. G. Bruggermann in Hingham obtained a Certificate of
Culture for that gentleman. Mr. Bruggermann had also been com-
mended for his success in growing chrysanthemums under shade.
Professor Oakes Ames resigned as a member of the Board in
1 94 1 and was promptly made an Honorary Trustee. Charles K.
THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM 87
Cummings was elected a Vice-President and Aubrey B. Butler
of Northampton was made a Trustee.
Horticulture had to face a loss of $645.84, due to increased costs,
even though the advertising revenue had increased. Building ex-
penses had gone up by seven thousand dollars and investments
were down. Yet the treasurer's report was to show an over-all profit
of $7,011.78, because of the financial success of the Spring
All in all, the Trustees were fairly well satisfied with the situa-
tion as they entered the closing month. Then, on December 7,
the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the year which Mr.
Webster had mentioned as one of serenity when it began was to
end with the United States precipitated into World War Two.
This brought repercussions which the Massachusetts Horticul-
tural Society, like similar organizations, could not escape. What
some of them were would soon become apparent.
1942— THE SOCIETY TURNS TO WAR WORK
WHEN the full import of the Pearl Harbor tragedy
became realized a complete reshaping of the activities
at Horticultural Hall was started. In the Library, the
magazine department and the information bureau the emphasis
was transferred from ornamental plants to food crops. Not, of
course, that the encouragement of flower growing and the making
of ornamental gardens was abandoned. The lesson to be learned
from the Royal Horticultural Society, which continued to hold
Flower Shows even while a hail of lead was falling on the city
of London, was too clear for that.
The federal government was asking for immediate help, how-
ever, in persuading people all over the country to do their part in
avoiding what might be a serious food shortage. An emergency
board set up in Washington made a specific request to this Society
for assistance and the Secretary began making trips to the
capital city for consultation and information.
Several state-wide conferences were held at Horticultural Hall
and soon a State Committee began holding regular meetings in
the Trustee's room. A radio program inaugurated the previous
year took on new importance and several newspaper releases
were sent out, although official sources took over such work
before many months had passed.
As the season progressed and the need of continuing effort
seemed apparent, an efficient city-wide gardening program was
established under the direction of Maurice Tobin, then Mayor
of the city. Arno H. Nehrling, the Society's Director of Exhibi-
tions, was made Secretary of a committee, of which Ernest
Hoftyzer, later a Trustee of the Society, was one of the most
energetic members. As a result of this Committee's help and en-
couragement hundreds of gardens were made in backyards and
on vacant lots. A large section in the Fenway was set aside for
THE SOCIETY TURNS TO WAR WORK 89
the use of men and women who had no land and the practical
value of this action was to be seen long after the war, for this
piece of land was to be continued in cultivation, with the garden-
ers organized into an enthusiastic group.
With the outbreak of the war it became necessary to provide
for blackouts, which was done by installing blackout curtains in
the Lecture Hall and the small Exhibition Hall. Actually these
curtains served a double purpose, making the halls more satis-
factory for the showing of stereopticon and and motion pictures in
daylight hours. A large flag was hung in the large Exhibition Hall
and a smaller flag in the lobby to help promote a patriotic spirit.
Efforts had been made for several years to devise a way to
make the entrance more prominent. Mr. Webster had suggested
a canopy similar to the one at Symphony Hall, as has been noted,
but the Trustees had taken no action to implement this sugges-
tion. Now, however, a less expensive plan was agreed upon and
soon the words "Horticultural Hall" had been cut into the stones
over the center door. In addition metal frames were installed at
each side of this door with inserts giving the name of the build-
ing, the date on which it was erected and such other information
as might be helpful at the moment. And, of course, an invitation
to visit the Library and the offices. This solution of a long-time
problem served a very useful purpose by answering some of the
questions on the lips of visitors to the city who might be curious
as to the name and purpose of so handsome a building.
Plans for the Spring Show had been made before the outbreak
of war, with commitments to those in charge of Mechanics
Building. It would have been very difficult to make changes
when the Show date was only about three months ahead. Never-
theless, it was not without trepidation that the Show was opened
on March 16, although there was in the end little cause for
worry. It is true that the attendance and the financial receipts
were to be off about twenty per cent, but so they were at the
other large shows, and after all there was a profit of $17,376.88,
an amount to be welcomed in a year bringing many extraordinary
As a Show the 1942 exhibition ranked very high. Indeed,
President Webster said of it, "This year's Show was one of the
90 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
most outstanding exhibitions ever staged by the Massachusetts
Horticultural Society and one that reflects credit on all those who
had a part in putting it on." For one thing, the Show was un-
usually large, the basement having been taken over for a magnif-
icent spectacle set up by Harlan P. Kelsey, Inc., of East Boxford,
featuring the famous mountains of North Carolina, where native
plants are to be found in greater variety than anywhere else in
the United States. This exhibit received both the Society's Gold
Medal and the trophy of the Massachusetts Department of Agri-
A garden set up by Mr. and Mrs. M. M. Van Beuren of
Newport, R. I. aroused a great amount of interest at this Show
because it brought together a greater number of lilies than had ever
before been assembled at any exhibition in America. It received
the Society's Gold Medal and the Bulkley Medal of the Garden
Club of America and then, at the end of the year, was awarded
the Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase as the most outstanding exhibit
at any of the Shows held in 1942.
The President's Cup was won by William T. Walke & Sons,
Inc. for a southern garden. The Walkes, who grew amaryllis
plants superlatively well, also won the Gold Medal of the Horti-
cultural Society of New York. The Gold Medal of the Pennsyl-
vania Society went to Edwin S. Webster for a superb group of
At the annual meeting in May Mr. Webster devoted much of
his address to a discussion of the Society's war-time activities. He
pointed out that all the departments were expected to co-operate
in every way possible with the federal, state and local authorities
in their efforts in behalf of food production, canning and other
Mr. Webster was highly pleased with the results of the Spring
Show, as has been noted, but nevertheless he recommended that
the 1943 Exhibition be held in Horticultural Hall, a recommenda-
tion which was to be adopted as a matter of course. He felt that
the other Shows should be held as usual, believing that the public
would welcome them even in time of war, as proved to be a
While dealing with the Shows notice must be taken of the re-
THE SOCIETY TURNS TO WAR WORK 91
port presented at the annual meeting by the Chairman of the
Committee on Exhibitions, Ray M. Koon. Toward the end of
his report Mr. Koon said:
"To ask a team of judges to render a verdict in a few minutes
on an Exhibit that has taken months to create is a large order.
That creditable results, as a rule, are achieved by the Prize Com-
mittee and their judges in awarding prizes under such unfamiliar
circumstances is a wonder ! The system is obviously fraught with
hazard and should be modified to prevent the possibility of serious
errors occurring in the future."
Then Mr. Koon made this statement:
"Some device must be set up whereby an Executive Committee,
possibly designated by the President, will meet at stated times
during all Shows to hear and act on protests. This is very im-
portant and we should not go into another year unprepared in this
This was the first time that differences between the Exhibition
and Prize Committees had been voiced publicly, although the
Prize Committee had sometimes expressed a wish to be consulted
when the schedules were being made up. However, it may have
been wise to clear the air, for the report of the Chairman of the
Exhibition Committee in 1943 was to disclose adjustments which
did much to improve the situation described by Mr. Koon, as will
Because of the developing interest in lilies a Lily Show was
added to the list of exhibitions in 1942 and was so well received
that a similar Show was planned for the next year. Records of
attendance were broken at both the Harvest and the Children's
Shows. The victory garden movement had resulted in more home
gardens being cultivated than at any time since the first world
war. Daniel W. O'Brien of the Children's Garden Committee
called the 1942 Show the best ever held in this country, ranking
well with many of the best adult exhibitions. The extent of this
Show is revealed by the fact that the 1,298 individual entries
marked an increase of 507 over those of the preceding year.
A bulletin dealing with poison ivy, which had become such a
serious pest as to interfere with the making of new gardens, was
circulated throughout the country. A new bulletin on ragweed
92 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
eradication was also well received. Both were writeen by George
Graves of the editorial staff. Dr. Kendall's bulletin on grape
cultivation was revised and reprinted.
All libraries reported a drop in circulation and the one at
Horticultural Hall was no exception. Yet there was an increase
in the number of books mailed out, in spite of higher book rates
put into effect by the postoffice department. Soon after the war
started, libraries in all the coastal states began putting their treas-
ures in safe storage and the Library Committee of this Society
investigated several possible hideouts. It finally was decided, how-
ever, that no safer place could be found than Horticultural Hall
itself. The room over the kitchen which had been fitted up as a
Library annex was considered well protected and the Society's
most valuable books were stored there.
Two members of the Library staff resigned to work for the
federal government and their places were not filled. This made
it necessary to cease work on the recataloguing project. The
Library shelves were found to have a considerable number of
duplicates, especially in the orchid collection. With the permission
of the Trustees enough books were sold through the bulletin of
the American Orchid Society to bring in $2,352.49.
The sale of books sponsored by the Society had continued good
and one of them, "The Gardener's Almanac," had become the
Society's exclusive property. It was to go through many editions
and was distributed for a time through the Oxford University
Press. The large edition of "The Gardener's Omnibus" originally
printed had been exhausted and the book was not reprinted
because of the war-time restrictions on paper and the large ex-
pense that would be involved.
The Society's magazine had some difficult problems to meet,
due to the falling off of membership in the three societies — the
Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the Pennsylvania Horticul-
tural Society and the Horticultural Society of New York. There
was a shrinkage in advertising revenue, too, as many advertisers
had not been able to continue in business.
Jens Jensen of Ellison Bay, Wisconsin, was awarded the George
Robert White Medal of Honor in 1942. The dean of American
landscape architects, he had done much notable work throughout
THE SOCIETY TURNS TO WAR WORK 93
the country, but his name was linked most closely with the great
West Park System of Chicago.
Vincent R. dePetris of Grosse Farms, Michigan, long a prom-
inent florist, had been winning new laurels by his work in devel-
oping improved hardy chrysanthemums. He was awarded the
Thomas Roland Medal.
Henry T. Skinner, curator of the Morris Arboretum at Chest-
nut Hill, Pa. was perhaps the youngest man to win the Jackson
Dawson Memorial Medal, but his excellent work as a propagator
at Wisley in England, at the Arnold Arboretum and at Cornell
University before being called to Pennsylvania was considered
to make him fully entitled to this honor.
Original research in vegetable growing, the preparation of
much valuable data on the cultivation of vegetables and the plan
for successive crops worked out in his garden in Ipswich won
the Society's Gold Medal for Albert C. Burrage, Jr., who was to
write a bulletin later to be circulated by the Society, and finally a
The Society's Gold Medal was awarded Edward I. Farrington,
Secretary and the Editor of Horticulture, for "long and distin-
Mrs. William A. Parker received the top award of the Garden
Committee, the H. H. Hunnewell Medal, for her estate in North
Easton, described "as having old world appearance and charm
while up to the minute in details of planting and comfort." A
Gold Medal went to Mrs. Charles E. Riley of Cotuit, "for the
perfect maintenance of horticultural objects." If this citation
seemed ambiguous it was explained in a statement that this was
an old place in which planting done many years before had been
preserved in remarkably good condition, with a valley garden and
a pool having real Victorian charm.
The Berkshire Garden Center in Stockbridge won a Gold
Medal for "an excellent educational exhibit, its co-operation with
the gardening public, for its example in stimulating the trial and
use of new materials and the understanding utilization of a diffi-
cult natural terrain."
A Blue Ribbon Certificate was awarded the City of Quincy for
its excellent maintenance of a traffic circle in the heart of an in-
94 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
dustrial center at the Quincy end of the Fore River bridge. This
work was done under the direction of Andrew W. Stewart.
It was voted by the Board of Trustees in 1942 to establish a
list of "Honorary Members," this list to appear in the Year
Book. Each person awarded the Society's Gold Medal by the
Trustees on the recommendation of the Committee on Special
Medals, or by a vote originating in the Board itself was to have
a place in this list, beginning with 1942.
Dunbar Lockwood was elected a Trustee in 1942, suc-
ceeding Miss Marian Roby Case, who had declined reelection.
Miss Case, who had become a member of the Society in
1920, was made a Trustee in 1925, having been the second
woman elected to the Board. Miss Case had been a very active
and very useful member of the Board throughout her term of
office. She had been responsible in large measure for the decision
of the Society to purchase the magazine Horticulture, as noted in
Mr. Benson's History. She had done more than any other person
to develop and expand the Exhibition of the Products of Chil-
dren's Gardens, donating a large number of medals each year.
She had set up excellent exhibits at some of the Autumn Shows
and had responded freely when called upon for assistance by
the Fruit and Flower Mission. She was at once made an Honorary
Boston's Autumn Flower Show in 1942, at which no admission
fee was charged, was in the nature of a tribute to China. The
leading exhibit was made up of spider chrysanthemums in great
variety grouped around a magnificent Chinese goddess loaned by
the Museum of Fine Arts. The chrysanthemums were grown and
arranged by Mrs. Edward Forbes and the exhibit was designed
by Mrs. Irving Wright. Several Chinese women appeared in
costume at this show and two of them were photographed in the
President's Gallery standing beside a large Chinese jar, the pic-
ture being reproduced in the Year Book.
As 1942 came to a close the Trustees felt that the first year of
war-time stress had been met valiantly and well, even though
the expenditures had exceeded the income by $4,796.17. Much
had been accomplished and yet there had been sufficient econ-
omies to reduce the building's expenses by more than $4,000 and
THE SOCIETY TURNS TO WAR WORK 95
the office expenses by more than $5,000. The income from invest-
ments had increased a little and fortunately a substantial amount
($2,330) had been received from Mt. Auburn Cemetery. On the
other hand, membership fees had yielded less than in the pre-
vious year and Horticulture had had a heavy loss, $3,237.16.
A bonus amounting to $390 had been paid the employes in the
place of the increase in salaries and wages for which they had
hoped, and blackout expenses of $684.08 had been incurred.
The bonus and blackout items, as well as the catalogue expense
of $750, were charged to the earned surplus account.
1943— AMERICA'S ONLY IMPORTANT
THIS Society had the unique distinction in 1943 of produc-
ing the only important Spring Flower Show anywhere in
the United States. It was a Show which absorbed much
of the attention of all departments in the early months of the
year, for it was to be held in Horticultural Hall instead of
Mechanics Building, which had been taken over by war-time
activities. It was to be put on, too, with some measure of appre-
hension as to how it would be received in time of war. When it
had come to a close, however, the letters of commendation and
congratulation received from many sources, locally and at a
distance, indicated almost unanimous approval.
It was inevitable that many difficult problems should be pre-
sented, for the Exhibition had to be planned for conditions
entirely different from those found in Mechanics Building. For
one thing, it had to be reduced in size at least fifty per cent and
yet it had to be attractive and spectacular enough to maintain
the Society's prestige in this field. It was expected that the at-
tendance would be about half the average of former years, but
if 50,000 people were to pass through the building in six days
there must be wide aisles and no bottlenecks. The manner in
which Mr. Nehrling, working with the Exhibition Committee,
met and solved these problems elicited the warmest praise. In
brief it was an excellent Show and the actual attendance was
57,000, a greater number of people than had ever before been
inside Horticultural Hall in a single week. The greatly enlarged
area on the mezzanine floor gave excellent space for the garden
clubs, being made possible because the partitions separating the
offices were portable. All of them were removed, and of course
the organizations occupying the offices were forced to suspend
AMERICA'S ONLY IMPORTANT SPRING SHOW 97
their activities for the time being. This they did in the most
There were exhibits even in the Library and at the rear of
the building on the office floor. They were made possible by the
newly-installed elevator, which was in constant use. The city
had insisted that emergency lights be placed on all floors before
the Show could be opened and that an exit from the Library by
way of the adjoining roof be provided.
Those who were privileged to see this Show will remember
some of the outstanding exhibits, especially the exhibit of orchids
which won the President's Cup for L. Sherman Adams and which
many experts declared to be the best display of orchids ever
made in America. The New York Medal Certificate was awarded
Alexander I. Heimlich for a rock garden and waterfall and the
Pennsylvania Gold Medal Certificate to Albert A. Hulley for a
rose garden. Will C. Curtis received the Bulkley Medal in bronze
awarded by the Garden Club of America for an educational col-
lection of rare and unusual plants gathered from all parts of the
country. The award for the best commercial exhibit went to
Ernest Borowski for an azalea garden.
A Georgian dining room was staged by the Garden Club
Federation under the direction of Mrs. Harold Plimpton, and
plant windows planned by Mrs. Irving C. Wright attracted much
attention. Victory garden information was given to thousands
of persons at a booth in the Library conducted by the State
College. In the course of the week requests for literature num-
Following a vote of the Trustees, no Medals from the Society
were awarded, Medal Certificates taking their place. Certificates
were awarded also by the New York and Pennsylvania societies
as noted. The new Totty Memorial Medal went to Mr. Hulley for
his rose garden.
The Show was happily a success financially as well as ar-
tistically, making a profit of $16,436.01. Almost a thousand
dollars in small change went into a wishing well at the Show
and was turned over to the Red Cross. Although the Show was
circumscribed by being held in Horticultural Hall, the location
98 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
had certain advantages. It brought the Society to the attention
of thousands of persons who had known nothing about its work,
and some of them promptly became members.
When the annual meeting was held a few weeks later the new
Chairman of the Committee on Exhibitions, Dr. Elmer D. Merrill,
reported that the Committee had worked closely with the Prize
Committee as instructed by President Webster and that copies
of the minutes of each meeting had been sent to that Committee.
In addition, the members of the Exhibition Committee had re-
ceived transcripts of the proceedings of each meeting of the
Prize Committee. In this way, reported Dr. Merrill, a mutual
understanding of all problems between the two committees had
been developed. Thus the situation which had brought forth the
critical report of Dr. Merrill's predecessor was apparently cleared
up to the satisfaction of all concerned, and in a manner to estab-
lish a pattern for future years.
In his report as Chairman of the Committee on Prizes Aubrey
Butler said, "At our first business meeting of the year Mr.
Webster emphasized the fact that judges should keep in mind
that they are judging a flower exhibit rather than a garden or
established planting. In connection with this suggestion your
Committee recommends that a new scale be devised for judging
garden exhibits with dramatic appeal."
The other reports at the annual meeting had to do largely with
conditions produced by the war. The President spoke of
afternoon and evening classes and the plans being made for
Summer canning demonstrations. State Garden Committee meet-
ings were being held regularly in the Hall and the City Garden
Committee with Mr. Nehrling as Secretary was very active. Mr.
Farrington was acting temporarily as county agent for Suffolk
county. Hundreds of bulletins were going out and a miniature
demonstration garden constructed by Harold Bent had been set
up in the entrance lobby. Robert G. Stone, a long-time Trustee,
had gone to Washington to work for the army with the rank of
captain, and Edwin F. Steffek, an assistant to the Secretary, had
also joined the armed forces. Captain Stone thought it best not to
continue as a member of the Board and Dr. George O. Clark was
elected to succeed him.
AMERICA'S ONLY IMPORTANT SPRING SHOW 99
By vote of the Trustees Dr. Merritt L. Fernald and Professor
Alfred C. Kinsey were awarded a Gold Medal Certificate for the
book "Edible Wild Plants of Eastern North America" as the most
notable book of a horticultural nature published in 1943.
The membership situation improved materially. The downward
trend was stopped about the middle of the year and from then
on more members were added than were lost. There was a total
increase in membership fees of about $300, a small amount it is
true, but enough to be reassuring. The various organizations hav-
ing their headquarters in the Hall continued their work in spite
of war-time restrictions, but the Mycological Club of Boston,
which had been a valued tenant for twenty-five years, decided to
move to Cambridge, where its specimens would be more readily
available. This very useful club was organized in 1895.
The Society's magazine Horticulture continued reasonably suc-
cessful, although showing a small loss (it was $529.13 for the
year) and maintained a circulation of 35,000 with no serious at-
tempt to increase it being made. It was called upon to give up many
hundreds of valuable engravings to meet the copper shortage.
The Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase was awarded to L. Sherman
Adams for the most outstanding exhibit in 1943, but it could
not be delivered because of the prevailing restrictions on the use
of gold. James Geehan kept the employment bureau functioning,
although it had become extremely difficult to meet the demand
for competent gardeners. The younger men were in the service,
as a matter of course, but the trend toward smaller estates, which
was to become very pronounced later, was already in the initial
stage. The Society carried on a radio program on Saturday morn-
ings for some months. Later George Graves of the editorial staff
took over a morning program, which had been instituted by Miss
Elizabeth Blossom, a Library assistant, and was kept busy answer-
ing gardening questions. Miss Blossom had resigned to go to the
Library of the Cleveland (Ohio) Garden Center.
It became noticeable that the size of the Society's Year Book
was becoming steadily smaller as the price of paper and print-
ing grew greater. The 1943 edition had only sixty-four pages as
against 114 pages in the issue of 1933.
Richardson Wright was the recipient of the George Robert
ioo TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
White Medal of Honor in 1943. He had at the time been editor of
House and Garden for thirty years and still held that posi-
tion. He had written many books, had lectured widely. He was
a Chairman of the International Flower Show and a Trustee of
the New York Botanical Garden. He had already been awarded
a Gold Medal by the American Iris Society, as well as the Arthur
Hoyt Scott award. He had been president of the American Rose
Society and the Men's Garden Club of New York and had long
been on the Board of Directors of the Horticultural Society of
New York. 1
The Thomas Roland Medal was awarded Edward Owen
Orpet, an Englishman who came to this country, as a young man
and made a reputation as an orchid grower on the Bayard Thayer
estate in Lancaster, where he became superintendent. He origi-
nated many orchid varieties that became popular as cut flowers.
He also produced the bi-generic hybrid, Epicattleya orpentiana.
In the ten years at Lancaster, he received many medals from the
Massachusetts Horticultural Society and other organizations.
From Massachusetts Mr. Orpet went to Illinois, becoming super-
intendent of the Cyrus H. McCormick estate, and later became
a park superintendent. Then he went to California to establish
a nursery of rare plants and win additional honors. He was 81
years old when this award was made.
Wilfrid Wheeler, long a prominent figure in New England
horticulture, was given the Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal.
Born and raised in Concord, he traveled in England and France
after his college days, studying horticultural developments in
those countries. Later he became Secretary of the State Board
of Agriculture and was appointed Commissioner of Agriculture
when that position was established. When his term expired he
moved to Hatchville, a part of Falmouth, and from then on had
done much to develop and improve horticulture on the Cape, in-
cluding the commercial growing of strawberries and melons. He
also had become interested in the beach plum from a commercial
angle and had been awarded the Jewett prize for beach plum
improvement. Finding that American holly thrived on the Cape,
1 Now retired, Mr. Wright is living on Cape Cod.
AMERICA'S ONLY IMPORTANT SPRING SHOW 101
he had given much time to the study and propagation of holly
plants, selecting the best strains. 2
In the course of the year Mrs. Fisk Warren presented the
Society a valuable collection of orchid prints. With this gift as
a nucleus the Library Committee decided to accumulate a some-
what extensive collection of both fruit and flower prints. The
foundation was laid with the purchase of 500 items, all by estab-
lished artists. It was planned to develop in time a well-rounded
representation of artists, periods and plants such as no other
institution has attempted. 3
The Library started a children's bookshelf in 1943, at the
instigation of Mrs. S. V. R. Crosby, who felt that more atten-
tion should be given to the encouragement of gardening by the
newer generation. Books for juniors relating to gardening and
nature were added as fast as they appeared.
This was the 75th year of continuous service for the Benevolent
Fruit and Flower Mission and a critical year, as it had been
affected adversely by World War conditions. Nevertheless much
good work was accomplished, the members of the Committee
sharing their ration points for the purchase of canned goods and
2 Mr. Wheeler is still active at his home in Hatch ville as this is written.
3 Later committees seem to have been less interested in the project, without
much advance being made.
1944— PRESIDENT WEBSTER HANDS HIS GAVEL
TO JOHN S. AMES
THERE was a strange, tense feeling in Horticultural Hall
at the beginning of 1944 and continuing until after the
Spring Show. War-time activities of many kinds imposed
a strain on the staff, but coincidentally there came a demand from
the state and the city that a safety program be put into imme-
diate effect. In fact, it had to be completed, the Trustees were
told, before the Spring Show would be permitted to open. Here
is what was required: Two new exits on the ground floor. An
exit from the Library to the adjoining roof. The rehanging of
all outside doors so that they would swing outward. The com-
plete removal of one pair of doors leading to the Library. A
change of locks on many of the doors. Fireproofing the door
leading from the kitchen to the boiler room. Installing double
rails on all the stairways and executing various safety measures
in the attic, where exhibition material was stored.
Persons familiar with the building will understand that break-
ing through the thick walls to provide additional exits was no
light task. The fire marshal had insisted in addition that the fire
escape at the rear of the building be replaced, but finally agreed
that this work might be deferred until Summer.
The last screw in this large program was driven into place
on the morning of the Show's opening day. Although these safety
requirements, an aftermath of the tragic Coconut Grove disaster,
called for much additional labor at a time when most of the
janitor's assistants were green men, they helped give the Hall a
rating as one of the safest public buildings in the city.
Time was found for the January Camellia Show, even in the
midst of all this work, with an exhibit which won a Silver Medal
Certificate for Mrs. J. D. Cameron Bradley, whose Camellia
Chandleri elegans was voted the best bloom on the tables.
JOHN S. AMES TAKES THE GAVEL 103
The success of the 1943 Spring Exhibition in Horticultural Hall
made possible the approach to the 1944 Show on a basis of con-
fidence. With a few lessons learned from the previous year, wider
aisles and a rerouting of the crowds made the exhibits easier to
view and eased congestion at many points. Still, the attendance
of 63,274, about seven thousand more than in 1943, taxed the
building's capacity to the fullest extent. Indeed, it was necessary
to close the doors at times, and often a queue reached around
the corner of the building. The increased attendance was reflected
in a profit of $24,776.26, pleasing news for the Trustees in a
year when expenses were running high.
Many persons from other states, even New Jersey and Penn-
sylvania, came to see the Show, for again it was the only one of
importance anywhere in the country. Amazement was expressed
that exhibits of such a spectacular nature could be set up under
the conditions then prevailing. The arrangement of the halls in
the building were such in themselves however, as to promote
good showmanship, with the huge permanent drop curtain at the
end of the largest hall lending a valuable scenic effect.
The character of the exhibits may be gathered by the awards.
The President's Cup and also the Gold Medal Certificate of the
Horticultural Society of New York went to Alexander I. Heimlich
for a Pan-American garden, actually a fascinating jungle garden.
Will C. Curtis' all-American garden, with a great variety of
plants, was awarded the Bulkley Medal of the Garden Club of
America, while the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Gold
Medal Certificate was won by the Gardner Museum for an ex-
hibit of Cymbidium pauwelsi beautifully grown.
Through the generosity of Mrs. Galen Stone and Mr. and Mrs.
Robert Stone a new award, the George Holliday Prize, was estab-
lished in 1944 in memory of Mr. Holliday, who for many years
had been in charge of the gardens and greenhouses at "Great Hill,"
the Marion estate of Mrs. Galen Stone. This prize, restricted to
private gardeners, was for award only to an exhibitor of pot
plants showing the highest standard of culture. The first award
was made in 1944 to Stewart Johnson, gardener on the Stone
Estate for a collection of acacias. The garden clubs had an im-
portant part to play in this Show, of course. They were assigned
104 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
to the mezzanine floor, where a terrace garden was one of many
The fast moving events of this eventful year soon brought the
annual meeting, which in itself was to have unusual importance,
as Mr. Webster was to make his last address as President, after
having held that office for almost thirteen years, a longer period
by almost three years than that of any other President in the
Society's long history. As usual the meeting was held at the
same time as the Daffodil Show which, as in former years, helped
increase the attendance.
In his address Mr. Webster reviewed briefly the advance in
membership and influence which had taken place during his term
in office and that of his predecessor, Mr. Burrage. He himself
had headed the Society through a depression and more than a
year of war without seeing any loss in the organization's vitality
or activity, and he rejoiced in the union with the New York and
Pennsylvania Societies in the same field.
He said he had tried to be fair to both the commercial interests
and the amateurs working within the Society, as well as the
garden clubs and the special societies meeting in the Hall. He
believed that the necessity of maintaining a balance between all
the groups represented was of the greatest importance. He felt
that he had done a real service in bringing about more active
cooperation between the Exhibition Committee and the Prize
Committee, and he continued to believe that the rule requiring
at least one change in the Board of Trustees each year was a good
rule, although it might work hardship at times. He paid a warm
tribute to John S. Ames, who seemed certain to become his suc-
cessor, and who had been well trained by his long service as
Treasurer and a member of various committees.
Following his address Mr. Webster presented the George
Robert White Medal of Honor to Richardson Wright, to whom
it had been awarded late in 1943 as noted. Later in the after-
noon Mr. Wright read a learned and comprehensive paper about
the Empress Josephine and her gardens. Mr. Webster also made
the presentation of the President's Cup to Alexander I. Heimlich.
In the report of the Library Committee the Chairman, Charles
JOHN S. AMES TAKES THE GAVEL 105
K. Cummings, stated that his Committee had recommended to
the Trustees that two additional members be added, making five
in all, three of whom must be Trustees. This recommendation
having been accepted by the Board was being presented to the
Society as an amendment to the By-Laws at this meeting and
was to be adopted. Mrs. Susan McKelvey and Dr. Elmer D. Mer-
rill were later to be added to the Committee.
The recataloguing of the Library was perforce suspended when
the young woman doing that work went into defense work. Late
in 1944, however, it was found possible to engage the services
of Miss Ethelyn M. Tucker, formerly the Librarian at the Arnold
Arboretum, and this much needed undertaking was resumed. The
Library enlarged its services during the year by offering a free
talk by a member of the staff to any garden club which might
choose to have a meeting at Horticultural Hall. A large collection
of kodachrome slides from interesting and rare garden books was
prepared, making lectures available on a variety of subjects.
Since most clubs like to have tea after their meetings, tea equip-
ment for fifty was provided and a case arranged for it on the
mezzanine floor. Perhaps the timing was wrong, but the response
to this generous gesture was not what had been expected.
In 1944 the First National Bank of Boston obtained permission
to have a painting made to represent the first Exhibition of the
Society, in 1829, a reproduction to be used in a series of blotters
showing notable "firsts." A large, framed copy of this painting
was presented to the Society and given a place in the Library,
where at this writing it still hangs.
Three thousand and ten books had been borrowed in 1943,
which was a drop of 983 from the previous year, continuing a
trend that had persisted for five years. Early in 1944, however,
the discouraging trend was halted, with a marked increase in the
number of borrowers, and the curve was to continue upward
with a return to normal living.
In reporting for the Committee on Prizes Aubrey B. Butler,
the Chairman, said:
"The Committee on Prizes views and appraises each and every
exhibit during the year which would be eligible for the Burrage
106 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
Vase award. Because of this fact your Committee feels that the
Committee on Prizes as a whole should have more to say in
the awarding of this vase."
Mr. Butler also said that his Committee had done all the
judging at the smaller shows rather than ask judges to come
from a distance, with transportation and man-power shortages
such as they were. His Committee had also emphasized the neces-
sity of scaling all exhibits judged.
Samuel J. Goddard, reporting for the Committee on the Ex-
hibition of the Products of Children's Gardens, spoke of the
greatly expanded school and home garden program brought
about through the efforts of the School and Park Departments of
the city. They had been reflected in the largest exhibition of the
products of children's gardens ever held in the Hall.
Mr. Goddard had words of warm commendation for Daniel
O'Brien, in charge of gardening and vocational agriculture in
the Boston school system, and Henry G. Wendler, Assistant
Director of the Boston Victory Garden Committee who at this
time were doing much of the work required in setting up the
Children's Shows. He gave credit, too, to Earle Nodine, in
charge of the 4-H section of these Shows, which had grown
remarkably in size and in the quality of material shown. He
spoke also of the assistance given by Mrs. Henry D. Tudor in
preparing the schedule.
At the close of the meeting announcement was made that
John S. Ames had been elected President, as anticipated by Mr.
Webster in his address. In point of succession he had become the
thirtieth in a long list of distinguished men holding this office.
It is seldom that as many as four new Trustees are elected in
a single year, but that happened in 1944, when Paul Dempsey,
Ernest Hoftyzer, Q. A. Shaw McKean and George Lewis, Jr.
were added to the Board. Messrs. Dempsey, Hoftyzer and Mc-
Kean were elected at the annual meeting. Mr. Lewis was ap-
pointed by the newly organized Board with Mr. Ames presiding
when Walter Hunnewell was elected Treasurer, thus creating a
At this meeting of the Board resolutions were adopted in
memory of Winthrop L. Carter, a Trustee who had passed away
JOHN S. AMES TAKES THE GAVEL 107
a few weeks earlier. Mr. Carter was a wise and active member
of the Board who only a few weeks before his death had pre-
sided at an important conservation meeting held at the Hotel
Statler by this Society in cooperation with the Advertising Club
With the financial picture none too satisfactory it was decided
to break a long-time precedent and embark on a quiet campaign
for additional capital through an Endowment Fund. John
W. Queen, who directed the advertising for the Spring Flower
Shows, was placed in charge and solicitation was continued
through the year ahead, although without any fanfare. 1
The passing of Miss Marian Roby Case on July 4 was a serious
loss to the Society. She had been very active in various branches
of the Society's work, but especially in the development of the
Exhibition of the Products of Children's Gardens. She had much
to do with persuading the Board to purchase Horticulture when
Mr. Farrington became Secretary and contributed to its pages.
A large projector was among her gifts to the Society and she
offered special children's garden medals over a long period of
Miss Case bequeathed $50,000 to the Society, the largest be-
quest for many years. She had long conducted a Summer school
for boys at her home in Weston, giving instruction in various
branches of gardening. It was her dearest wish to have this school
continued after her death and she had suggested willing her
estate to the Massachusetts Horticultural Society if it would
guarantee to carry out her wishes. Both Mr. Burrage and Mr.
Webster had discussed this matter with Miss Case, but neither
had felt that the Society should be bound to such an agreement
on a permanent basis without an endowment sufficient to make
the school independent. In the end Miss Case willed the larger
part of her estate to Harvard University in the expectation that
it would be used for the benefit of the Arnold Arboretum. It is
significant that the University has made no attempt to continue
the school, as Miss Case desired.
It was also necessary in 1944 to record the death of Mrs.
1 The campaign was closed in 1946, as will be seen, but contributions received
since then have set the Fund total at $40,361.31.
108 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
Elizabeth Downs Wadsworth of Winchester, sister of Jere Downs,
a former Trustee who had passed away in 1935. Mrs. Wadsworth
left many bequests on the basis of shares but because of certain
disputes distribution was long delayed. Finally a compromise was
agreed upon by which the Society received $19,668.19. This sup-
plemented a bequest of $15,000 from her brother.
In the Winter of 1944 the Secretary was invited to a confer-
ence at the Garden Center in Cleveland, where an expansion plan
on broad lines was being considered. After several hours of dis-
cussion, the recommendation was made that Arnold Davis of the
staff at the Massachusetts State College be offered the position
of Director. This was done and Mr. Davis accepted, beginning a
career which was to enhance his reputation as a leader and execu-
tive and to add greatly to the prestige of the Cleveland Center.
The Secretary was also called to Washington and to Philadelphia
for conferences. With Mr. Nehrling he helped formulate plans for
giving increased importance and influence to the organization
known as United Horticulture, plans which were to bear fruit in
It had become not unusual for authors to seek publishers for
their books through the editorial staff at Horticultural Hall. Dr.
U. P. Hedrick, long head of the New York State Experiment
Station, sought such assistance and an excellent publisher was
found for his books. The manuscript of his first volume and the
proofs were read at the Hall. Mr. Farrington wrote an introduc-
tion for the book.
Continued requests for ready-made programs to be provided
garden clubs and other organizations were not easy to meet.
Finally a bulletin containing a wide variety of garden programs
In the course of the year the Society was called upon to pro-
vide judging schedules for the New York Times and a list of
gardens as subjects for articles to be published in House and
Garden. Material, including 100 lantern slides, was sent to Port-
land, Oregon, for a meeting in memory of Ernest H. Wilson.
Although these details are those of a single year they are not
to be taken as peculiar to that year, but as an indication of each
JOHN S. AMES TAKES THE GAVEL 109
Theodore Wirth of Minneapolis, Minn., awarded the George
Robert White Medal of Honor in 1944, had had a remarkable
record of efficiency in the development of public parks and in
making them of special value as recreational centers. A Swiss
by birth, he first won fame by his work at Elizabeth Park in
Hartford, Conn., where in 1903 he established the first municipal
rose garden in this country. Mr. Wirth became Superintendent
of Parks in Minneapolis in 1906.
Few rosarians were better known at the time than Joseph
Herbert Hill, awarded the Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal. In
Richmond, Ind. he had one of the country's largest rose-growing
establishments, and had introduced several roses which had won
wide popularity, with Better Times topping the list. Joanna Hill,
named for his daughter, was another well-known variety.
Albert A. Hulley received the Thomas Roland Medal in 1944.
At the end of the year he was also awarded the Albert C. Burrage
Gold Vase for a rose garden at the Spring Show, the outstand-
ing exhibit at any of the Society's exhibitions, thus making 1944
a banner year for him. Mr. Hulley's skill had long been demon-
strated at the Flower Shows.
Arthur Herrington, a well-known horticultural expert of Madi-
son, N. J., had said that the rose plants in the Hulley garden at
the 1943 Show were the finest he had ever seen at any Show in
America. In addition to roses Mr. Hulley had been very success-
ful in the cultivation of rare clematis varieties, occasionally used
in his exhibits.
The method devised by Professor Jacob K. Shaw of the Massa-
chusetts State College by which to identify varieties of fruit
trees in the nursery was considered so valuable that the Society's
Gold Medal was awarded him in 1944. His system had been
applied so widely that the shipping of misnamed fruit trees by
reliable nurseries had been largely overcome.
Another State College man, William R. Cole, was selected by
the Trustees for a somewhat unusual award, the result of his
highly efficient efforts in the promotion of Victory gardens and
in the preservation of the products of these gardens during the
war-time emergency. Mr. Cole was given a handsome Scroll
signed by the President of the Society. As an organizer this
no TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
man had few equals, and his energy, resourcefulness and execu-
tive ability had made him a recognized leader.
The Treasurer's accounting at the end of the year showed a
loss of only $270.34, as against $3,305.78 the previous year. The
earnings from the Spring Show were largely responsible for the
improved financial showing, although membership fees added an
extra thousand dollars and the sale of surplus Library books
brought in about $2,800. The Autumn Show had the unusually
heavy loss of $2,913.77, however, and Horticulture reported a
$382.04 deficit. Yet $2,592.93 still remained in the earned sur-
plus account. It was considered to have been a good year for a
Society operating under war-time restrictions.
1945— PEACE BRINGS MANY NEW PROBLEMS
JOHN S. AMES had been president of the Society just a year
when the annual meeting was held on May 7, 1945. Through-
out that year he had been confronted by problems en-
gendered by a world war. In the year ahead he was to encounter
a new set of problems, created in part at least, by the coming of
peace. The Spring Show yielded $5,000 less than the one in 1944,
and the Society's operating expenses were rising. With the better
bonds giving way to those having a lower rate of interest, the
President, along with the Treasurer and the other members of the
Finance Committee, had pressing investment questions to con-
sider. Mr. Ames in his address mentioned the small deficit of
$200 which existed at the end of 1944, but predicted that the
loss would be greater in the year then under way. He was right,
as the Treasurer's books at the end of the year were to show.
Mr. Ames called attention to the loud speaker system which
had been installed since the previous annual meeting and which
gave everyone in the room an opportunity to hear what was being
said. He explained that the system had been developed to such
an extent that music could be broadcast throughout the lower
floor at the time of the Spring Show. Mr. Ames spoke with warm
appreciation of the work done by the organization known as
Garden Club Service Inc. headed by Mrs. Sherman Whipple,
which was extremely active at the various hospitals for wounded
servicemen. Over a thousand dollars was raised for this work by
means of a wishing well at the Spring Show.
He expressed thanks to Mrs. William C. Endicott for a portrait
of her late husband, who had been the Society's president in 19 19
and 1920. Grateful acknowledgement was made also of a portrait
of Jere A. Downs, a benefactor of the Society and a Trustee from
1933 to 1935. The President was pleased that the membership
ii2 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
curve had continued upward, a total of 7,200 having been reached
at that time.
Weather conditions were such that the usual Daffodil Show
could not be held at the time of the annual meeting. Indeed, it
as well as the Tulip Show, was given up. However, the Librarian,
Miss Manks, had arranged an exhibition of valuable prints and
original paintings. Following the business meeting she used a
lantern and screen to show some of the Society's new slides in
color that dealt with the Library's most important treasures.
The result of the balloting showed that Richard C. Paine and
Mrs. William A. Parker had been added to the Board of Trustees.
The members had voted also to approve an amendment to the
By-Laws which served in part at least to meet the demands of
the Exhibition and Prize Committees that they be permitted to
vote on the award of the Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase. The
amendment made the Chairman of each of these two Committees
a member of the Award Committee, which must make its report
to the Trustees, which body must in turn announce the decision
in the month of December, as required by the deed of gift.
The Spring Show was the last of the three to be held in Horti-
cultural Hall and was perhaps the best. The attendance, a total
of 57,167, was less than in the previous year, but this was due to
an agreement with the Office of Defense Transportation not to
publicize the Show outside the Boston commutation area because
of the hotel and transportation situation. It was again the only
large Flower Show in the country and might have been expected
to attract visitors from other states. The smaller attendance
reduced the profits to $19,952.72.
The outstanding feature of the Show was a California redwood
scene set up by the Frost & Higgins Company at the end of the
large hall. This unique and spectacular exhibit won a Gold Medal
Certificate and at the end of the year was to be awarded the
Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase. An acacia group in the name of
Mrs. Galen L. Stone of Marion won the Gold Medal Certificate
of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, in addition to the
President's Cup. The award of the Horticultural Society of New
York went to the Bay State Nurseries for a Virginia garden. A
southwest desert garden won the Massachusetts Department of
PEACE BRINGS MANY NEW PROBLEMS 113
Agriculture's prize for F. I. Carter and Sons of Tewksbury. The
Beacon Hill Garden Club cup went to the Garden Club Federa-
tion for "a well conceived and beautifully carried out garden
club exhibit." The new George Holliday Memorial prize was
awarded William Todd of North Uxbridge for a group of cine-
Among the unusual exhibits was a five-pointed star featuring
education, food, diversion, decor and treatment arranged by the
occupational therapy section of the Lovell General Hospital. An-
other was an exhibition of the work done by Garden Club Serv-
ice, Inc. at army and navy hospitals. Each received a Silver
Medal Certificate. Frank Seiner had succeeded Mr. Peirce as
landscape consultant and had much to do in connection with this
Items of interest from the other Shows included an award to
Dr. George O. Clark for the best bloom in the Camellia Show,
the flower being Semi-Double Blush. The New England Region
of the American Iris Society was given a Gold Medal Certificate
for an outstanding Iris Exhibition, an unusual recognition for
an entire show. At the Iris Show Paul Frost set up an iris garden
in memory of Miss Grace Sturtevant. At the Harvest Show the
Lovell General Hospital received a Silver Medal Certificate for
an exhibit of ninety tomato varieties. The newly established
Lily Show in July was attended by 3,000 persons and seemed to
be growing in popularity. No Autumn Show was held in 1945, but
its omission caused so much criticism that the Trustees promised
to reinstate it the next year.
It has been expected that a cessation of hostilities would see
a diminishing interest in vegetable growing and, indeed, the
questions received had shifted in great measure to ornamentals
even before peace had been declared. Yet the government was
now asking that every effort be made to induce amateurs to go
on growing food crops. There was nothing to do it seemed but
to encourage people to grow vegetables, as the government
wished, along with the ornamental plants which they were deter-
mined to grow.
William H. Judd, propagator at the Arnold Arboretum for
thirty-three years and a member of the Horticultural Society
ii4 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
since 1922, passed away suddenly on the night of May 23, after
hurrying to a fire near his home in Jamaica Plain. He was the
first to propagate many of the plants from China and Japan in-
troduced through the Arboretum. Mr. Judd was born in England
and for a time was employed at Kew Gardens. He had traveled
widely in Europe and was a friend of Lord Aberconway, at whose
home he visited several times. He had received the Jackson Daw-
son Gold Medal and the Veitch Memorial Gold Medal.
Other names which appeared in the necrology list included that
of Henry M. Howard, a market gardener who had often exhibited
at the Hall, that of Miss Grace Sturtevant, prominent as an iris
hybridizer, and that of Professor Frank A. Waugh, who had
been awarded the George Robert White Medal of Honor in 1941.
In the list, too, was the name of Albert Cameron Bur rage 3rd,
killed in the war.
An important event late in the year was an award to the So-
ciety itself — a Certificate from the Garden Club Federation of
Massachusetts, together with a citation acknowledging its in-
debtedness to the Society for its "invaluable cooperation in the
development of the Federation." It was in Horticultural Hall in
1927 that the Federation was organized, after several meetings
had been held at the suggestion of Mr. Farrington.
With the war over, the Committee on Gardens began to func-
tion again and late in 1945 the Trustees made several awards on
its recommendation. The Society's Gold Medal was awarded to
the Waltham Field Station of the Massachusetts State College
for its educational work and its service to commercial and ama-
teur gardeners. A Scroll was awarded the Boston Victory Garden
Committee appointed originally by Mayor Maurice Tobin for its
work in developing an outstanding demonstration garden on
Boston Common, and testifying also to the success of the Com-
mittee in promoting Victory gardens at Franklin Park and other
properties belonging to the city. It was stated as a matter of
interest that Ernest Hoftyzer, a member of the Board, had served
as Chairman of this Committee and that Arno H. Nehrling, the
Society's Director of Exhibitions, had served as Secretary. The
Trustees voted to award a Scroll to John R. Macomber for his
home "Raceland" in Framingham.
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PEACE BRINGS MANY NEW PROBLEMS 115
The Board also acted on a series of recommendations by the
Committee on Special Awards. William N. Craig of Weymouth
was chosen for the George Robert White Medal of Honor, as
one of the best known horticultural experts of the Eastern states,
a man who was retiring from business after a lifetime devoted to
the improvement of horticulture, both as to plants and methods.
Mr. Ross, who made the recommendation in behalf of his Com-
mittee, described Mr. Craig as an outstanding figure in the horti-
cultural world and as having exerted tremendous influence in
many horticultural fields, with particular emphasis on lilies. This
award was warmly approved.
It was voted to award the Thomas Roland Medal to Professor
Edmund F. Palmer, Vineland Station, Ontario, based on the fact
that Professor Palmer had distinguished himself in two fields.
For twenty years he was in charge of fruit breeding at the Station
and had been responsible for most of the new peach varieties
being grown on the Niagara Peninsula. He was even more widely
known, however, as a gladiolus breeder, having originated many
choice varieties, including Picardy.
Walter B. Clarke of San Jose, California, was chosen to receive
the Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal. He had propagated many
worthwhile trees, shrubs and vines, the citation stated, among the
most important being garden hybrids of Chaenomeles.
In recommending the Society's Gold Medal for Mrs. John H.
Cunningham of Brookline Mr. Ross said, "Mrs. Cunningham has
been a driving force in many fields of horticultural activity over
a long period, her culminating achievement being her outstanding
victory garden work, when she organized and personally super-
vised the most successful canning kitchen in New England dur-
ing the war." The Committee also recognized Mrs. Cunningham's
exceptional executive ability as shown at the Flower Shows and in
her garden club activities, and her success as a gardener as
shown by her own place.
It was voted to award the Society's Gold Medal to Daniel
O'Brien, head of the school garden work in Boston, where school
gardens originated. He had labored for many years to maintain
the highest standards in the gardens under his control. In addi-
tion, his efforts in behalf of the children's exhibitions at Horti-
n6 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
cultural Hall had been of such value that the Committee felt they
should be recognized in this manner.
Early in the year the resignation of Mrs. Emily I. Elliott as
Executive Secretary of the Benevolent Fraternity Fruit and
Flower Mission was announced. This followed eighteen years of
successful work in developing and expanding the operations of
the organization from its office in Horticultural Hall. Mrs.
Elliott's energy and enthusiasm were boundless and she gathered
about her a band of loyal women who spent many hours prepar-
ing baskets and containers for hospitals, elderly people and
The coming of this organization to the Hall in 1922 helped
solve a serious problem. Before that time it had been difficult to
prevent a scramble for flowers at the close of each Show, some-
times with disastrous results. There were many complaints, too,
about the dumping of flowers that were in good condition, and
about the loss of fruits and vegetables. Under the new arrange-
ment groups of women move in at the close of each Show and
systematically gather up the good material, which is made into
bundles and distributed. Miss Ethel E. Hudson was appointed to
succeed Mrs. Elliott.
Mr. Ames' mild note of pessimism at the annual meeting in
May had been based on a keen understanding of the general
situation, it seemed, for the Treasurer's report on December 31
showed a deficit of $4,967.89. This was in spite of the fact that
the income from investments had increased by $2,300, that Horti-
culture had earned a small profit, that there had been no Autumn
Show loss, and that membership dues had brought in $1,500 more
than in the previous year. The building expenses had jumped by
$1,600 and office and general expenses by $4,500. Operating costs
were rising. However, $19,872.41 of the Joseph E. Chandler be-
quest had been received, with more to come, and the Treasurer
could report a net profit of $9,483.11 on the sale of securities,
but of course these sums were added to capital.
1946— A YEAR CROWDED WITH
THE year 1946 was to be an eventful year in the history of
the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. It was to see a
triumphal return of the Spring Flower Show to Mechanics
Building and a larger attendance than at any previous Show. It
was to see a rapid increase in membership, a substantial addition
to the Society's capital assets, several important changes in the
Board of Trustees, the resumption of normal activities in all de-
partments, an increased demand for private gardeners following
the war, a satisfactory profit and, at the end of the year, the resig-
nation of the long-time Secretary at the age of 70.
First the Spring Show, which was moved down the street again
but only after some hesitation. Mr. Nehrling was certain that the
move would be a wise one and the members of the Exhibition
Committee backed him up. The tremendous success of the Show,
with its record-breaking 129,085 visitors, proved that the Show
Manager and the Exhibition Committee had been right. The peo-
ple of New England were hungry for the great floral spectacle,
and with travel restrictions removed, they were able to come from
far and near.
It is possible to suggest the vast range of exhibits only as they
can be indicated by the special prizes. The Bay State Nurseries
set up a Memorial Garden in Grand Hall which won the Presi-
dent's Cup and at the end of the year was to receive the Albert
C. Burrage Gold Vase as the most outstanding exhibit at any
of the Shows. Medals themselves were again given by this Society,
but the other horticultural societies continued with certificates.
That of the Horticultural Society of New York went to Mr. and
Mrs. John S. Ames for a Chinese garden. The Pennsylvania Cer-
tificate was awarded Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Stone for an in-
formal exhibit of acacias. A garden of cacti and succulents won
n8 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
the Sarah Todd Bulkley Gold Medal of the Garden Club of
America for F. I. Carter & Sons. The Garden Clubs' Exhibition
Committee had a very attractive suburban house and garden, with
which it won the Beacon Hill Garden Club's Cup, as well as the
Society's Gold Medal.
With this successful Show as something for general satisfaction
at the annual meeting on May 6, there were yet other matters to
be happy about. President Ames reported remarkable growth in
membership, a total of more than 8,000 having been reached. He
spoke of the wide appeal which the Library was making to gar-
deners in other states and the service which Horticulture per-
formed in calling the attention of its readers to this Library. The
President mentioned with regret, however, the resignation of
Charles K. Cummings from the Board of Trustees. Mr. Cum-
mings had served long and faithfully as a Vice President and as
Chairman of the Library Committee.
Amplifying the President's remarks about the Society's mag-
azine, the Secretary said that a check had been made to ascertain
the degree to which it actually served as a feeder for the Society.
It was found that thirty-one subscribers had become members in
the month of February and sixty-five in March. It was also
attracting new members to both the New York and Pennsylvania
Transferring the Spring Show to Mechanics Building had made
the work at Horticultural Hall much easier, the Secretary said.
The Hall itself had suffered physically to some extent from the
great crowds which had assembled there for the war-time Shows
and considerable work would be needed in refinishing the floors
In his last report as Chairman of the Library Committee, Mr.
Cummings said that the information booth in charge of the Li-
brarian at the Spring Flower Show had provided an unusual
opportunity to reach a wider public. The number of questions
asked and the sale of garden books were double those in any
previous year. Mr. Cummings said that 323 books had been
added to the collection and that about half the books borrowed
went outside the state, some to points as far away as California,
Mexico and Nova Scotia. A new edition of "Four Hundred Books
A YEAR OF FAR REACHING EVENTS 119
for Amateur Gardeners" was being sent to all members. In closing
his term of office, Mr. Cummings paid tribute to the service
rendered by Miss Manks, the Librarian.
At the close of the annual meeting tea was served under the
direction of Mrs. Roger S. Warner, assisted by other members of
the Board. Thus was inaugurated a custom which was to persist
to the present time and which has proved the most satisfactory
solution yet devised for attracting a reasonably good attendance
at the annual meetings. There was, of course, a social hour in
connection with the serving of tea. Another pleasant event in the
course of the afternoon was the presentation of the George
Robert White Medal of Honor to William N. Craig.
When the ballots had been counted, it was announced that
Aubrey B. Butler of Northampton had been elected a Vice Presi-
dent and that W. P. Wolcott had been added to the Board.
A highly important event in 1946 was a ruling by the Depart-
ment of Internal Revenue in Washington in respect to the classi-
fication of the Society. In the future, it was announced, no taxes
would be imposed on bequests and gifts to the organization. This
was the result of a long and comprehensive brief filed with the
department by Charles Hovey and Kenneth W. Bergen, attorneys
representing the Society. Efforts had been made twice before to
obtain such a decision but had failed.
The campaign for adding to the Society's Endowment Fund
was closed in 1946, although various sums from pledges were to
continue to come in. The campaign was not as successful as had
been hoped, but the amount raised was not insignificant, the total
at the time being $31,319.95.
In the course of the year Richard C. Paine found it necessary
to resign as a Trustee and Stedman Buttrick was chosen by the
Board to fill out the balance of his term. Later Mr. Buttrick was
to be elected by the Society and to become very active, as will be
Mr. Nehrling attended the organization meeting of United
Horticulture in Cleveland and was elected a Director. He also
attended a meeting in Washington to discuss the food situation
from the viewpoint of the amateur gardener.
In the course of the year the Trustees voted to participate in
120 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
a plan to place a suitable stone on the grave of Ernest H. Wilson
in Mt. Royal Cemetery in Montreal. Contributions for this pur-
pose were started by the Royal Horticultural Society, with an
appropriation of $500. An appropriation was also made by the
Horticultural Club of Boston, over which Mr. Wilson at one time
Edwin F. Steffek returned from military service in 1946 and
resumed his work as editorial assistant, most of his time being
devoted to a revision of "The Plant Buyer's Index," which had
been purchased from the widow of J. Woodward Manning. This
book was to be completely rewritten and issued in a new form as
"The Plant Buyer's Guide." It was to be a long, tedious under-
taking, but one well worthwhile.
In 1946 the Trustees were approached for the second time with
a tentative offer to purchase the building. Although this approach
was made through a real estate agent, it was believed to have
come from one of the Society's neighbors. The members of the
Board replied that they were not interested in such a transaction.
Actually, they were giving consideration to a possible reconstruc-
tion of the building so as to provide additional exhibition space
and to make the Library more accessible, but in the end all such
plans were abandoned, as the cost would be excessive.
For a time a section of the smaller hall was turned into a recep-
tion room, with an attendant to answer questions and refer visi-
tors to the departments they might wish to visit. However, this
arrangement had to be given up because of the many rentals
which demanded the full use of this hall. Later a large, portable
bulletin board for the purpose of directing visitors to the depart-
ments they might wish to visit was installed near the entrance
and has proved very useful.
Four medals were awarded in 1946 on recommendation of the
Garden Committee, with George Lewis as Chairman. Mrs. R.
Boyer Miller received the H. H. Hunnewell Medal for her estate
in Wenham, an unusual place on a hillside and terraced on three
levels, with supporting walls planted to rock garden material.
Mrs. Arthur Adams was awarded a Silver Medal for her estate
in Dover, where wide use had been made of fruit trees grown in
A YEAR OF FAR REACHING EVENTS 121
espalier form around a large garden. Both apples trees and pear
trees had been used with great success.
A Silver Medal also went to Mr. and Mrs. William Stuart
Forbes for their estate in Hamilton, where the house and garden
had been tied together with exceptional skill, a delightfully inti-
mate effect being obtained.
The Wenham estate of Mr. and Mrs. Ellery Sedgwick won
them the Society's Bronze Medal because of its interesting and
distinctive character, with many ornamental cherries and other
trees with a weeping habit.
One more honor was added to the many given Dr. Elmer Drew
Merrill, former Director of the Arnold Arboretum, when he was
awarded the George Robert White Medal in 1946 for service
to horticulture. Dr. Merrill began his career at the University of
Maine in his native state, but established his reputation as an
outstanding botanist after he went to the Philippines in 1902 to
join the Bureau of Agriculture and the Bureau of Forestry. Later
he became head of the Department of Botany in the University
of the Philippines and Director of the Bureau of Science. He
wrote many papers on the botany of the Philippines and near-by
countries, and described 3,000 new species of plants. A new phase
of his career began in 1923, when he became Dean of the Col-
lege of Agriculture and Director of the Agricultural Experiment
Station of the University of California. In 1930 he was called to
New York to become Professor of Botany at Columbia University
and Director of the New York Botanical Garden. In 1935 he was
appointed Professor of Botany and Administrator of the botani-
cal collections at Harvard University. This appointment auto-
matically placed him in charge of the Arnold Arboretum, where
he served until he resigned in 1946.
Dr. Merrill was credited with more than 400 botanical papers.
He held membership in many learned societies here and abroad,
and had the distinction of being the only American member of
the Royal Swedish Society.
The Thomas Roland Medal for skill in horticulture was
awarded Thomas H. Everett of New York, a finished garden
craftsman and an excellent instructor. A graduate of Kew Gar-
122 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
dens, he came to this country to take charge of the H. E. Man-
ville estate in Pleasantville, N. Y. and soon acquired an enviable
reputation by his exhibits at the New York Flower Show. Ap-
pointed horticulturist at the New York Botanical Garden in 1932,
he at once began revitalizing one of the country's great indoor
Miss Isabella Preston, long connected with the Central Experi-
mental Farm in Ottawa, was awarded the Jackson Dawson Medal
for skill in hybridizing and propagating lilies, lilacs and other
garden material. Her so-called "stenographer" lilies had been
attracting much attention at flower shows. Miss Preston was
an Englishwoman and trained in the best tradition of British
gardening. She was the author of the book "Lilies for Every
A Gold Medal went to Dr. Albert F. Blakeslee, a member of
the botany department of Smith College, for research in plant
breeding. He had formerly been a staff member at Harvard and
the University of Connecticut, as well as Director of the Carnegie
Station for Experimental Evolution. The much publicized tech-
nique of influencing plant heredity by applying the drug colchicine
to cause chromosome changes was one of Dr. Blakeslee's innova-
For many years James J. Hurley had been a consistent exhibi-
tor at the Horticultural Society's Shows as superintendent for
Mrs. Robert Treat Paine, II. His rare skill had brought many
awards. He now received a Gold Medal.
During the year the Trustees voted $100 to aid in carrying on
the backyard garden work in a near-by section of the city, work
in which the Society had long had an interest as has been noted.
In 1946 the Dahlia Show was abandoned after having been
scheduled for many years. Interest in dahlias had obviously been
waning in New England. The New England Dahlia Society, which
had been responsible for the Show, was losing its members and
most of the men who had set up exhibits were becoming inactive.
So the Show had to be discontinued and no attempt has been
made to revive it.
It was voted by the Trustees that Gold Medals be struck for
A YEAR OF FAR REACHING EVENTS 123
persons entitled to them but who had been given certificates
during the emergency period.
In December Mr. Farrington announced his resignation as
Secretary, to take effect on the last day of the year. He was
tendered a complimentary dinner at the Algonquin Club which
was attended by the Officers and Trustees and was presented a
valuable gift, along with a Scroll. Later he received a set of
Shakespeare figurines from the Massachusetts Federation of Gar-
It was fortunate that the Spring Show had shown a large profit,
for the earned surplus fund on the Treasurer's books had been
exhausted and a small deficit still remained, although Horticul-
ture could report a substantial income and membership fees had
increased by about $2,000. The deficit was wiped out by the Show
profits and the sum of $12,558.23 was added to the Show Insur-
ance Fund, increasing this fund to $53,177.93. The Fund has re-
mained at this figure to the present time, the interest being used
for the support of the Summer and Fall Shows.
1947— ADVENT OF A NEW SECRETARY
BRINGS MANY CHANGES
ON JANUARY i, 1947, Arno H. Nehrling became Secre-
tary of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, only the
fourth since a paid Secretary was first appointed in
1876. He was to be known as Executive Secretary to make his
position clear, but his duties and responsibilities were to be no
different from those of his predecessors. Fourteen years as direc-
tor of exhibitions had made him fully acquainted with the So-
ciety's traditions, purposes and activities, for all the departments
at Horticultural Hall are closely interlocked and interdependent.
The change brought about certain rearrangements, however. Mr.
Farrington had been Secretary and Editor and it had been neces-
sary to employ a Show Manager. Now Mr. Nehrling was to be
Secretary and Show Manager and it became necessary to employ
an Editor, although Mr. Nehrling was to have general supervision
of Horticulture with the title Director of Publications.
William H. Clark, an experienced journalist and author, who
had previously been the Society's press representative, was se-
lected as Horticulture's Editor with the understanding that he
would continue his press contacts. In the Spring George Graves,
who had been Assistant Editor and Garden Consultant, left the
Society to open a nursery on Martha's Vineyard, where he was
to specialize in the propagation of beach plums and both Amer-
ican and English hollies. He had already received the Jewett prize
for his reports on the commercial cultivation of beach plums.
It was necessary to plunge at once into the final preparations
for the Spring Show, which posed more than the usual number of
problems, caused by a shortage in labor and more particularly an
increase of ten to fifteen per cent in the cost of supplies. However,
the attendance was only a little less than in the previous year,
despite a rainy day, and the profit was $75,158.
A NEW SECRETARY AND MANY CHANGES 125
A particular popular feature at the Show was a Vermont cov-
ered bridge set up by Sherman Eddy, which received a Gold
Medal and was to be awarded the Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase
at the end of the year. The Bay State Nurseries won the Presi-
dent's Cup with a house and garden on the stage. The award of
the Horticultural Society of New York went to Mr. and Mrs.
Robert G. Stone for their acacias and that of the Pennsylvania
Society to Mrs. Helen Adams of Wellesley for cypripediums
showing the highest degree of culture.
William Todd of North Uxbridge again won the George Holli-
day Memorial prize, showing beautifully grown clivias. The
Beacon Hill Garden Club's Cup was won by the "Winter Gar-
deners" with a greenhouse and sun-heated pit. The Sarah Todd
Bulkley Gold Medal of the Garden Club of America went to Mrs.
Irving C. Wright, co-chairman of the Garden Clubs' Exhibition
Committee, for her work in planning the exhibit of that group.
This committee, headed by Mrs. James Perkins and Mrs. Wright,
was also awarded a Gold Medal for a contemporary house and
garden. It was interesting to find a Gold Medal going to Lord
Aberconway for a group of white cypripediums sent over from
At the annual meeting on May 6 Mr. Nehrling appeared as
Secretary for the first time, reading an interesting report. First,
however, Mr. Ames made his annual address as President. He re-
ferred to the change in secretaryship and it may not be outside
the bounds of modesty to quote a few lines from his address as
a matter of record. "When Mr. Farrington took over the duties
of Secretary," Mr. Ames said "the affairs of the Society were
rather dormant, but during his years of activity he completely
revitalized the organization. Between 1923 and 1946 the member-
ship was increased from 1,010 to nearly 9,000. He greatly ex-
tended the services and influence of the Society so that it became
in effect a national organization with members in forty-six of
the forty-eight states. He greatly enlarged the size and circula-
tion of the magazine Horticulture, giving it a commanding posi-
tion in gardening journalism."
Mr. Ames then congratulated the Society on being able to
obtain in Mr. Nehrling a man who had been with the Society for
126 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
fourteen years and who had both the experience and capacity to
take over the duties and responsibilities of this exacting position.
Mr. Ames reported on the bequest of Miss Marian Roby Case
and that of her sister, Miss Louisa Case, who passed away in
1946. Half the total of $100,000 had been received, Mr. Ames
said. The house and grounds in Sudbury which had come to
the Society, as noted, through the will of Joseph E. Chandler had
been sold, Mr. Ames stated, for approximately $25,000. Mr.
Chandler, whose death occurred in 1945, had been a Trustee of
the Society and had supervised much of the decorative work
within its building. It was voted to establish a memorial fund to
carry Mr. Chandler's name, the interest to be used for general
The Secretary's report showed a marked upsurge of interest
in the Society, more than 1,600 new members having been added
since the previous annual meeting, making the total membership
9,440, the largest in the Society's history.
Mr. Nehrling explained a new educational program. A Spring
course in the planting of home grounds, designed primarily for
veterans starting new homes, had been largely attended. A course
for school children had been planned, along with a series of lec-
tures, which would bring a number of prominent speakers to the
Hall. Mr. Nehrling spoke also of plans to expand Horticulture
as soon as the paper shortage would permit. Thus a well-rounded
program which promised well for the Society's future was being
mapped out. Professor Ray M. Koon was added to the Board of
Trustees in 1947.
The Society was host to three national horticultural societies
in the course of the year. The American Delphinium Society and
the American Peony Society participated in the June exhibition,
while the Chrysanthemum Society of America contributed much
to the Autumn Show. The last named was considered by experts
the best Chrysanthemum Show in many years. The Lily Show
in July brought enthusiastic growers from many parts of the
country and then and there the North American Lily Society
A new exhibtion, one devoted to house plants, was included in
the schedule and proved of interest to many women. The exhibits
A NEW SECRETARY AND MANY CHANGES 127
of begonias and African violets were remarkably comprehensive.
However, the Trustees decided at the end of the year that
thirteen exhibitions in a single season were too many. The cost
was too great and too little time was left for needed repairs and
a proper grooming of the building. Accordingly it was voted to
reduce the number of Shows in 1948 to ten. The Peony, Iris, and
Rose Shows in June were to be combined and the House Plant
Show united with the Harvest Exhibition.
It was a particularly busy year for Mr. Nehrling. He attended
the annual conference of the American Horticultural Council
in New York and was a speaker. He was elected Secretary to the
Council at that meeting. He represented the Society in Washing-
ton on certain proposed changes in the quarantine laws and pre-
sented the position of the Society, which was in opposition to the
proposed changes. He attended a meeting of the Arthur Hoyt
Scott Foundation at Swarthmore, Pa., as a member of the com-
mittee appointed to award the Arthur Hoyt Scott Medal. With
Dr. Merrill, representing Harvard University, he attended a din-
ner in Ithaca, N. Y. honoring Dr. Liberty Hyde Bailey, who had
just observed his ninetieth birthday.
The Garden Committee confined itself to three awards in
1947. A Gold Medal went to Stedman Buttrick, on recommenda-
tion of the Committee, for an estate in Concord laid out with much
skill and with gardens maintained at a high level of culture. Mr.
Buttrick's collection of irises, which made the gardens especially
notable, contained and still contains at this writing a great many
of the choicest varieties.
The remarkable plantings of narcissi maintained by John Rus-
sell in Dedham won him a Gold Medal, also. Many thousands of
narcissi in hundreds of varieties on acres of almost untouched old
pasture land created, the Committee believed, one of the best ex-
amples of the use of Spring bulbs in a naturalistic planting to be
found in this country.
The Society's Silver Medal was awarded H. Wendell Endicott
of Dedham for a very extensive planting of tulips.
Ernest F. Coe, a resident of Coconut Grove, Florida, received
the George Robert White Medal in 1947. Mr. Coe was known as
the "father of Everglades National Park," which fact indicated
128 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
one reason for this award. The truth is that this park came into
being only after many years of sacrificial work on the part of
Mr. Coe, who had devoted much of his entire adult life to the
project. At the time of this award he was in his eighty-first year.
The Thomas Roland Medal for skill in horticulture went to
Eric Walther of Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. In its cita-
tion the Committee on Special Medals declared that Mr. Walther
had accomplished a most remarkable undertaking in assembling
a beautiful collection of native and exotic plants in a new botanic
garden of seven acres.
To Dr. M. A. Blake of the New Jersey Agricultural Experi-
ment Station went the Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal. Dr.
Blake had worked with fruits for many years, specializing in the
development of peaches, an important crop in his section. Actu-
ally the new varieties he created had revitalized peach-growing
all over the country. 1
Ernest Borowski was voted a Gold Medal for his horticultural
skill as demonstrated in the propagation of plants, especially
azaleas. The Committee believed him to be the country's out-
standing authority on the cultivation of greenhouse azaleas.
A particularly sad event in 1947 was the death of William N.
Craig at his home in Weymouth. Mr. Craig was one of the
ablest plantsmen of his time and a man whose personality and
achievements had made him honored and respected on both sides
of the water. Coming to the United States in 1890 after a thor-
ough training in his native England, he established himself in
eastern Massachusetts, where he was to spend the rest of his life.
For many years he managed the famed F. L. Ames estate in North
Easton and later Faulkner Farm in Brookline.
Mr. Craig was a correspondent of the Florists Review for
forty-five years and wrote for the old Garden and Forest when
that publication was in the heyday of its popularity. He was an
active member of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and at
one time a member of the Board of Trustees. He was presented
the George Robert White medal by President Ames at the annual
1 When this award was made it was not known, of course, that Dr. Blake had
just passed away. When the Medal was received at Rutgers, the heirs of Dr.
Blake presented it to the college.
A NEW SECRETARY AND MANY CHANGES 129
meeting of the Society in 1946. He had not missed a regular meet-
ing of the Gardeners' and Florists' Club in thirty-nine years and
had long held office in the club. He was a member of the Horti-
cultural Club of Boston and the National Association of Garden-
In the course of 1947 a large portrait of Edwin S. Webster,
who preceded Mr. Ames as President, was received and was hung
in the Secretary's office. It had been painted in 1925 by Philip
A. de Laszlo.
In the course of the year Mr. Ames and Mr. Nehrling discov-
ered in the Society's strong box in the First National Bank a bot-
tle of seeds taken from the corner stone of the first Horticultural
Hall, which was on School street. Mr. Koon agreed to take half
the seeds from the bottle and make a test to ascertain if they were
still viable. It may be said that the results were negative. The
seeds did not sprout.
The Treasurer's report at the end of the year disclosed that the
Greater Endowment Fund had been raised to $35,460.16. The
income from investments had increased by about $6,000 and that
from rentals by about $5,000, with a small profit from Horticul-
ture. However, work on the building had increased expenditures
by over $10,000. The balance on the right side of the ledger was
1948— IMPORTANT CHANGES IN PERSONNEL
THE Society began the year 1948 with a membership of
11,000, the largest in its long history. It was to continue
to grow through the year by another thousand, with a
vigorous campaign under way. It was not to be an exciting year,
but one of expansion and rehabilitation. In fact, a year of nor-
malcy. Improved conditions made possible much repair work
which necessarily had been postponed, some of it the result of
wear and tear caused by holding the war-time Spring Shows in
Horticultural Hall. The task of cleaning the portraits, begun the
year before, was to be continued. Trustees had decided on having
ten portraits cleaned each year until all had been restored.
Beginning with January the magazine Horticulture, which had
been published first as a weekly and later twice a month, was
issued monthly, but enlarged and improved in various ways. Con-
ditions were now more favorable to its expansion both editorially
and in its circulation. Mr. Clark, the new Editor, attended the
convention of the Men's Garden Clubs of America in Atlanta and
represented this Society at a luncheon of the Pennsylvania Horti-
cultural Society at the time of the March Flower Show in Phila-
Mr. Nehrling represented President Ames at a dinner given by
the Horticultural Society of New York in connection with the
International Flower show. He presented this Society's Gold
Medal to Lambertus C. Bobbink of the firm of Bobbink & Atkins
for having had the best garden at the 1947 Show in New York,
and a similar Medal to Don Roehrs for the best garden in 1948.
This brings us to the Boston Show, held as usual in Mechanics
Building. It was an unusually expensive show because of an
exceptional amount of construction required in preparation for a
Dutch village on the stage, which set the theme for Grand Hall.
Furthermore, nearly all the exhibits in that Hall were developed
IMPORTANT CHANGES IN PERSONNEL 131
at the expense of the Society itself, although the tulip bulbs, used
in great numbers, were supplied without charge by the Dutch
Tulip Growers Association. Altogether, the cost of the Show was
well over $100,000 and it is not surprising that those in charge
were somewhat worried as the installation work progressed. How-
ever, this worry proved groundless, for crowds poured into the
building from the opening hour, the total attendance for the week
being 115,000. Although the profit was less than that of the
previous year, it totaled $51,000, there being the advantage of
a higher admission rate. Egbert Hans again was active in setting
up this show, there being a large amount of scenery to paint.
Grand Hall was rich in color, but many of the choicest exhibits
were in the other halls. Alexander I. Heimlich had a naturalistic
garden so good that it won the Society's Gold Medal, the Gold
Medal of the Horticultural Society of New York, the Charles H.
Totty Memorial Medal and the Sarah Todd Bulkley Medal of the
Garden Club of America, while at the end of the year was to be
awarded the Albert C. Bur rage Gold Vase for the best exhibit at
any of the season's Shows. 1
Lexington Nurseries, Inc. won the President's Cup for a
"Garden of Reverie" and the Gold Medal Certificate of the
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society went to Albert A. Hulley for
a rose garden in the manner that had won him many awards in
the past. The George Holiday Memorial Prize was awarded Peter
Arnott, gardener for Mr. Webster, and the Beacon Hill Garden
Club's Cup was received by the Groton Garden Club for an
exhibit showing the corner of a fruit garden.
The Junior League Garden Club set up a June border of such
excellent quality that it won a cup offered by Mrs. John S. Ames.
William Todd of North Uxbridge continued to win laurels for his
skill as a gardener, being awarded the Antoine Leuthy Gold
Medal, a new award made possible by a fund established by Mr.
Leuthy, long a prominent Boston florist.
Several changes in the Board of Trustees were announced at
the annual meeting. William P. Wolcott had passed away, while
Q. A. Shaw McKean had resigned because of a change in resi-
*No record has been found of any other exhibit that has received so many-
awards in the history of the Society.
i 3 2 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
dence. Harlan P. Kelsey, a Trustee for many years, declined re-
election and was succeeded by his son Seth L. Kelsey. John Chand-
ler was elected for one year to fill out the unexpired term of Mr.
McKean. George B. Cabot was chosen to succeed Mr. Wolcott.
At a meeting of the Board of Trustees which followed the an-
nual meeting Mr. Hunnewell resigned as Treasurer and Mr.
Buttrick was selected to succeed him. George Lewis, Jr. was again
made assistant Treasurer.
In his report at the annual meeting Mr. Nehrling paid tribute
to Mr. Wolcott, who had devoted himself in several capacities to
the Society's welfare. He was of the third generation in his family
to be active in the affairs of the Society. The Secretary spoke
of a successful radio program over WHDH conducted by Seth
L. Kelsey, with the station contributing the time. He made men-
tion, too, of a lecture by John Nash Ott, Jr., which was so well
attended that it had to be immediately repeated. Several other
lectures were given as a contribution to the Freedom Garden
movement then being promoted by the government.
Dr. Merrill in his report as Chairman of the Exhibition Com-
mittee made special mention of a newly organized Women's Ex-
hibition Committee of the Society. A group of garden club women
had been acting unofficially for several years in the setting up of
important exhibits at the Spring Show. The Trustees had now
brought this group within the framework of the organization.
It was given a certain amount of financial support and has
continued to function with great credit. 2
Samuel J. Goddard was appointed Chairman of the Prize Com-
mittee to follow Dr. Clark, with Thomas Milne acting as Co-
Chairman. Mr. Goddard remained as Chairman also of the Com-
mittee on the Exhibition of the Products of Children's Gardens.
It was a matter of great regret that he was unable to act in either
capacity after the early Summer Shows. Before the coming of the
next Spring Show he had passed away. His loss was felt deeply
not only by the Trustees but throughout the Society, for he had
been active on various committees for many years and was very
well known. He had been a Trustee since 1930. A florist in Fram-
8 It is still a temporary committee in effect, however, as no provision for it has
yet been made in the By-Laws or by vote of the Society.
IMPORTANT CHANGES IN PERSONNEL 133
ingham, he was sagacious and always dependable. Such criticisms
as he had to make as Chairman of the Committee on Prizes were
given with a smile and always accepted graciously.
Of the Summer Shows only the one devoted to lilies was of
special importance, although the attendance at all of them was
larger than usual. The year-old North American Lily Society held
its first annual meeting in connection with the Lily Show, and
interested gardeners from several other states were present. The
Show was rated as the largest and most successful Lily Exhibition
ever held in this country. Yet it was to be the last one at Horticul-
tural Hall, at least for the years immediately ahead. Its value
was not sufficient, the Trustees thought, to warrant the time and
expense required to put it on. Also, it came in July, the one month
in which there was an opportunity to make needed repairs and
give the Hall a general renovation.
Because of Mr. Goddard's illness another member of the com-
mittee, Daniel W. O'Brien, took charge of the Children's Garden
Show, at which there was a remarkable increase in the number of
entries, due to favorable growing conditions.
Announcement of the death of the Secretary of the Fruit and
Flower Mission, Miss Ethel E. Hudson, was received late in the
year with deep regret. Miss Hudson was efficient, tactful, always
ready with a smile and devoted to her work. Mrs. Ida A. Perkins
was appointed to succeed her.
The Committee on Gardens, with Dr. Clark as Chairman, recom-
mended only three awards in 1948 and omitted the H. H. Hunne-
well medal altogether. Apparently it was becoming increasingly
difficult to meet the requirements of this award, as the Medal
could be given only for estates of three acres or over showing
exceptional tree and shrub planting and the highest form of culti-
vation. Most large estates had not been kept at a high level fol-
lowing the war, but there was now an increased demand for
The Society's Gold Medal was awarded the Isabella Stewart
Gardner Museum in the Fenway for a "garden of exceptional
merit." Many persons who visit the Museum fail to visit the
garden adjacent to the building, really a demonstration garden
of great educational value.
134 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
The Society's Silver Medal was awarded Mr. and Mrs. Willard
Hudson of 44 Winthrop Street, Winchester, for "the skillful de-
velopment of the outdoor living-room type of garden." This
garden was recommended by the Committee as one that might
well be emulated.
A Silver Medal was given also to Mr. and Mrs. Henry G.
Stoddard, Bass Rocks, Gloucester, "for a wonderful transforma-
tion of bare rocks into a beautiful garden combining the best
features of a boulder terrain as a background."
The Special Medals Committee, with Mr. Ross as Chairman,
selected Lord Aberconway, President of the Royal Horticultural
Society, to receive the George Robert White Medal of Honor.
Lord Aberconway was described as probably the outstanding
figure of his day in British horticulture. 3
Henry Kohankie of Painesville, Ohio, was chosen for the
Thomas Roland Medal, because of his great skill in horticulture
and his interest in unusual trees and shrubs, many of them diffi-
cult to find elsewhere.
To Professor H. B. Tukey, then head of the Department of
Horticulture at Michigan State College, went the Jackson Daw-
son Medal for his skill in the hybridization and propagation of
hardy woody plants. Dr. Tukey was formerly connected with
Cornell University and the New York State Agricultural Experi-
ment Station, where he did distinguished work in the production
of new small fruit varieties.
George Palmer, awarded the Society's Gold Medal, had been
exhibiting at the Society's shows for many years, as superin-
tendent for Mrs. R. M. Saltonstall. In fact, the records disclosed
that he had exhibited at more Shows conducted by this Society
than any other single person. He seemed able to grow any type
of plant material, but was particularly successful with standard
heliotropes, fuchsias, roses and geraniums, admirable plants for
exhibition purposes but not undertaken by many greenhouse
The director of the Berkshire Garden Center at Stockbridge,
A. Kenneth Simpson, had become widely known for his adminis-
trative ability and his horticultural skill. The Committee felt that
'Lord Aberconway died in 1953.
IMPORTANT CHANGES IN PERSONNEL 135
he well deserved the Society's Gold Medal. Gardening is compara-
tively difficult in the Berkshire hills, and yet the region is famous
for its gardens and the diversity of its plant material. Much of
the present-day success there is due to the influence of the Berk-
shire Garden Center and Mr. Simpson.
Dr. Hugh P. Baker, then retired and living in Winter Park,
Florida, was honored with a Scroll setting forth some of his many
accomplishments. Long head of the Massachusetts State College,
he saw the institution grow into the University of Massachusetts
and, indeed, was largely responsible for the transformation.
Mr. Nehrling made a trip to Miami in December to present the
George Robert White Medal of Honor to Ernest F. Coe, to whom
it had previously been awarded as noted. While in the South he
selected much of the plant material to be used in a tropical scene
at the 1949 Spring Show.
Plans were announced this year for a new venture to be in-
augurated in 1949 — "Garden Week in Massachusetts." Miss
Mary May Binney had been chosen to head a committee to map
out the new activity.
The year ended with a comfortable balance in the treasury,
$9,107.51, to be exact. Contributing to the good results in 1948
were an increased income from investments and somewhat higher
membership returns, plus a very successful Show. The Earned
Surplus Fund had grown to $12,749.95. Careful management had
kept the office and Library expenses below those of the previous
year, but repairs had increased the building expenses, while both
the Autumm Show and Horticulture had experienced losses. On
the whole, except for a long necrology list, a total of no, it had
been a very satisfactory year.
1949— AN UNEXPECTED WINDFALL
AND A BUSY YEAR
MUCH of the time in the early months of 1949 was given
over to preparations for the new project, " Garden
Week in Massachusetts," with Mary May Binney as
Chairman of the committee in charge. Miss Binney gave almost
all her time to the undertaking, scouting for estates and gardens
which might be opened to the public and checking the most feasi-
ble routes. Activities of this kind had been popular in Virginia,
Maryland and other states, but until this time garden visitations
in Massachusetts had been confined to smaller organizations
and conducted on a less extensive scale. Looking forward to June,
it may be said that some fifty gardens were opened, that busses
were used to supplement private cars and that visitors came from
several other states. The venture was so successful, in fact, that
the Trustees voted at once to repeat it in 1950.
The most important event of the new year was, of course, the
great Spring Flower show, at which Grand Hall was treated as a
unit by the Society, with the cooperation of selected exhibitors.
The basic theme was a tropical jungle, which called for great
numbers of orchids to be used to show, as far as possible, their
methods of growth in their natural habitat. Members of the So-
ciety, both amateurs and commercial growers, did their part in
supplying plants. Experts gave their services and special lighting
effects were developed under the direction of C. Hassler Capron.
This was a very ambitious undertaking and one that received
wide publicity. The Society itself was awarded the Bulkley Medal
of the Garden Club of America for the display. The Robert Stone
acacias were set up at one end of Grand Hall and never had been
exhibited to better advantage. Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Stone
were awarded the President's Cup for this exhibit.
A WINDFALL AND A BUSY YEAR 137
Among the other exhibits of special note was an informal
garden staged by Harlan P. Kelsey, Inc., which was so good that
it won the Society's Gold Medal and the Gold Medal of the Horti-
cultural Society of New York. In addition it was to be given the
Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase at the end of the year as the most
outstanding exhibit at any of the Shows. Edwin S. Webster's
orchids won two special awards, the Gold Medal Certificate of
the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the Antoine Leuthy
The garden clubs were particularly active at this Show. The
North Shore Garden Club contributed a " Chinese Tea Merchant's
Garden," for which it won a cup offered by Mrs. John S. Ames.
The Beacon Hill Garden Club Cup went to the Buzzards Bay
Garden Club for a unique exhibit called the " Garden of Peter
George Finnie, a seasoned gardener, came down from Dublin,
N. H. to win the George Holliday Memorial Prize with a group
of cinerarias, plants which must be exceptionally good to become
The attendance at the 1949 Show fell off somewhat, but it
totaled 110,197, with one rather poor day because of bad weather.
Of course the net receipts were proportionately less, the amount
being $60,607.96, but that amount was very satisfactory, as Mr.
Buttrick, the Treasurer, commented and the Show was a tremen-
dous artistic success. Harold Stevenson, landscape architect, had
become technical adviser and had done yeoman service at this
At the annual meeting which, as always, soon followed the
Spring Show, Mr. Ames, the President, was able to report a be-
quest of $30,298.86 from the estate of Francis Brown Hayes.
This windfall was unexpected, for Mr. Hayes died in 1898 and
the officers had forgotten a trust fund established by him that was
to come to the Society when the last recipient of the trust should
pass away. Mr. Hayes was one of the Society's greatest bene-
factors, for he gave it $189,904.54 by will when he died. He had
been President of the Society and active in many ways. Mr. Ames
also announced additional contributions to the endowment fund
138 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
amounting to $1,281.30. His report on the membership showed
an increase to about 12,000, once more the largest in the Society's
In his report as executive Secretary Mr. Nehrling announced
the resignation of Edwin F. Steffek, associate editor, who had
become a member of the House Beautiful staff in New York.
George Taloumis, an experienced horticulturist and a talented
writer, had been engaged to succeed Mr. Steffek. Mr. Nehrling
spoke of the great Spring Flower Show in Oakland, California,
which he had attended the week before, calling it the largest and
most spectacular exhibition he had ever seen. The purpose of his
visit was to obtain new ideas for the Boston Show and he was
able to make many notes. While in California he also attended
the Spring Show at Coronado, conducted by retired army and
Reporting for the Library Committee, Dr. Merrill said that 459
volumes had been added since the 1948 annual meeting, but
called attention to the fact that prices placed by dealers on im-
portant old books had increased enormously. Nevertheless, a seri-
ous attempt was being made to acquire certain of the older books
as well as keeping up to date with current horticultural literature,
thus maintaining a proper balance between the old and the new.
The services provided by the Library were indicated in part by
the statement that nearly 4,500 books had been loaned to mem-
bers in the course of the year, going to all parts of the country.
Dr. Merrill explained that rare and expensive volumes and those
in constant use for reference purposes were not mailed out, but
that photostats and microfilm could be supplied at cost. The gifts
received included two cases of nursery catalogues from the Royal
Horticultural Society in London.
Stedman Buttrick made his first report as Treasurer at this
meeting and found the financial condition of the Society gratify-
ing. He wondered if the members realized the size and scope of
the Society's operations, and mentioned the expenditures for the
year 1948 — a total of $329,082. That large amount of money rep-
resented literally thousands of separate expenditures, covering a
bewildering variety of items, from the purchase of rare old books
A WINDFALL AND A BUSY YEAR 139
for the Library to organ music at the Spring Show. Oliver Wol-
cott was added to the Board of Trustees at this meeting.
Nine Shows were held in the course of 1949, all except the
Spring and Fall Shows being open to the public without charge.
All attempts to make the Fall Show pay its way had proved fruit-
less down through the years, there having been only a single time
when this was accomplished. A new approach was tried in 1949,
the introduction of trade space in a limited amount. It was a
successful innovation, for it cut the expense of the Show by almost
a thousand dollars. Moreover, it pleased the public, many visitors
taking the opportunity to buy bulbs and other garden material. It
was a plan that had been discussed for several years but adopted
only with hesitation. Yet it was accepted so willingly that it
seemed likely to become a permanent feature.
The 1949 Children's Show was the first under the direction of
the new Chairman, Mrs. Roger S. Warner. Much help was given
by Mrs. Henry D. Tudor, who had become greatly interested in
this work, and by Daniel W. O'Brien and Henry G. Wendler,
both long and consistent supporters of the Show. Of special inter-
est was a large exhibit from the school garden on the Cummings
estate in Woburn, operated by the Boston School Department in
cooperation with the Boston Park Department. This exhibit
showed such high quality that it won not only first prize but
also the Silver Medal of the Horticultural Society and a sweep-
stake Rosette from the Department of Agriculture. It was in-
teresting to find Mrs. Tudor donating $350 as a fund to be used
for the purchase of milk for the children working at the Woburn
garden through the Summer of 1950.
It should be noted that the Summer of 1949 was excessively
hot and dry, the driest for forty years, which fact had its effect
on all the Summer and Fall Shows.
An observance of the Centennial of the Concord grape was held
in connection with the Harvest Show in September. Wilfrid
Wheeler was in charge of the formal program and, as a native of
Concord, he was able to talk entertainingly about the conditions
under which Ephraim Bull originated this famous grape and the
difficulties he had in getting it recognized and accepted.
Mo TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
There was sadness in many circles when Mrs. Helen Noyes
Webster passed away on March 21, 1949. Mrs. Webster had been
an active and highly valued member of the Massachusetts Horti-
cultural Society for eighteen years. Like her late husband she was
devoted to botany and gardening, but in her later years had con-
centrated on the study and cultivation of herbs, acquiring knowl-
edge which led to the writing of a very successful book on the
subject. She was among the founders of the Herb Society of
America, which was to become widely influential. No woman was
ever more generous with her time and energy than Mrs. Webster
and the high regard in which she was held was reflected in verses
written in tribute to her and appearing in the Horticultural So-
ciety's Year Book for 1949.
It was painful to find many other well-known names in the
1949 necrology list. Among them was that of Mrs. Homer Gage,
at one time an active Trustee and the owner of an attractive
estate in Shrewsbury for which she had received an award from
the Society. Another name was that of Robert T. Jackson of
Peterboro, N. H., who had been an active member when living in
Cambridge and whose garden is mentioned four times in Mr.
Benson's history. Professor Jackson was considered an authority
J. Horace McFarland's name appears, too. Although living in
Harrisburg, Pa., Dr. McFarland had long been a member of the
Society, from which he had received the George Robert White
Medal of Honor. In the list was the name of Duncan Finlayson,
long superintendent of the Larz Anderson estate in Brookline
and one of the best known gardeners in New England, a man of
remarkable ability. The name of Harry Norton was also there, a
charming man who had a home in Montreal as well as one in
Boston and could bring down lilacs long after they had gone out
of bloom in this area. He was a peony devotee and often exhibited
at the Boston Shows.
In the list was the name of Mrs. Albert C. Burrage, that of
Mrs. Gordon Abbott and the name of Miss Annie R. Blanchard.
The close association of these fine people with the Society will
be long remembered. Each necrology list contains the names of
persons to whom the Society owed much.
A WINDFALL AND A BUSY YEAR 141
The Men's Garden Club of Boston came into being during the
year, following a meeting at Horticultural Hall attended by rep-
resentatives of the New York City club. Allen H. Wood, Jr., au-
thor, lecturer and garden expert, often heard over the air, was
elected President. Edward I. Farrington was made Secretary and
the holding of monthly meetings began.
The Secretary of the Horticultural Society, Mr. Nehrling, was
able to give the following list of organizations meeting in Horti-
cultural Hall in 1949:
Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts.
Associated Flower Arrangers of Massachusetts.
New England Wild Flower Preservation Society.
New England Gladiolus Society.
Gourd Society of America.
Herb Society of America.
American Rock Garden Society.
Gardeners' and Florists' Club of Boston.
Boston Branch of the American Association of Gardeners.
New England Iris Society.
New England Branch of the American Iris Society.
New England Rose Society.
Men's Garden Club of Boston.
Occasionally the Society awards Medals to persons in other
countries, but 1949 was the first year in which a Medal had gone
to an individual in South America. On this occasion the George
Robert White medal of Honor was awarded to Dr. Wilson
Popenoe, Director, Escuele Agricola Panamericana, Honduras.
Dr. Popenoe was one of the most prominent figures of the day in
the field of tropical horticulture. He first distinguished himself
in California, where he worked with the avocado and the date
palm. Later he was active for twelve years as agricultural explorer
for the federal government. This work led him into Latin America
and to the staff of the United Fruit Company. He moved to
Honduras and there established the institution which he was to
head. It was possible to bestow this award personally through a
member of the Society's Board of Trustees, as Dr. Merrill was
i 4 2 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
a guest of the school at the time of the presentation ceremony.
The Thomas Roland Medal went to Montague Free, formerly
of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and well known as a skilled
horticulturist, a brilliant writer and a popular lecturer. The
Special Awards Committee established a precedent when it
awarded not one but two Jackson Dawson Memorial Medals in
one year. Chosen for these medals were Professor Richard Wel-
lington and Professor George Slate, both of the New York State
Experiment Station at Geneva, N. Y. They had won prominence
by their work in the development of new fruits along approxi-
mately parallel lines, work which had been of no little benefit
to fruit growers and the general public. Professor Slate was also
well known for his work with lilies.
Dr. Kenneth Post of Cornell University was awarded the
Society's Gold Medal for his book "Florist Crop Production and
Marketing." This book was declared to be both significant and
substantial, an outstanding contribution to the literature of flori-
culture. It is seldom that a Horticultural Society award goes to
a newspaper writer, but Haydn S. Pearson's editorials pertain-
ing to nature study and the relationship between modern civiliza-
tion and the woods and fields won him a handsome Scroll. Mr.
Pearson's editorial appeared in the Boston Herald, but did not
embrace all his writings, for he was the author of several books.
Seth L. Kelsey had become Chairman of the Garden Committee
in 1949, succeeding Dr. George Clark. It then became possible to
award the H. H. Hunnewell Medal to Dr. Clark, something which
the Board had wished to do for several years. "Chaily" in New-
buryport was described as a country estate of unusual interest,
where horticultural skill had been combined with exceptionally
good taste in the development of a fine location overlooking the
Merrimack River. Native trees, rare and beautiful evergreens,
shrubs, flowering plants and ground covers were features of the
The Committee went to the western part of the state to make
several of its awards, giving a gold medal to Mrs. George 0. Forbes
of South Egrement for "Orchard Farm," an "unusually lovely
small estate where house and garden blend to form a pattern for
A WINDFALL AND A BUSY YEAR 143
gracious living." A Gold Medal was awarded also to Mrs. Charles
Griswold in Stockbridge for a "hillside estate of exceptional
merit." Especially commended was the restrained planting in
areas where emphasis on form or color would have detracted from
a magnificent view of the valley below.
Mrs. Bernard Hoffman of Stockbridge, who had long been
active in support of the Berkshire Garden Center, was given the
Society's Silver Medal for a "small garden combining variety
of interest with ease of maintenance."
In keeping with a practice followed by some previous com-
mittees, awards were made to two industrial establishments. A
Garden Certificate was voted to the Heald Company of Worcester
for a "dignified and practical foundation planting that might well
serve as a model for other commercial enterprises." Another cer-
tificate was awarded the Norton Company of Worcester for the
planting of an inner courtyard. A pool and flower beds added to
A successful series of lectures in the Spring was followed by
another in the Fall and Winter. One by Jesse Buffum on the Fiji
Islands attracted so many people that it had to be immediately
repeated. Even then several hundred persons were turned away.
Another lecture, one by Milford Wall in which he showed marvel-
ous pictures of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, drew an overflow
attendance. It was interesting to find the evening lectures filling
the hall, whereas in earlier years only lectures given in the after-
noon were well attended. Doubtless the improved transportation
facilities resulting from the new subway explained, at least in
part, this changed situation. Horticultural Hall had become one
of the most accessible public buildings in the city.
In the course of the year the Michigan Horticultural Society,
an active and growing organization, made an arrangement by
which all its members began to receive each issue of Horticulture.
The year ended with a favorable balance of $7,239.98 on the
Treasurer's books. The income from investments had increased
by $4,000 under the watchful eyes of the able finance Committee.
Membership fees brought in one thousand dollars more than in
the previous year. Rentals had taken a surprising jump and
i 4 4 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
Horticulture showed a profit of $1,056. There was a surplus of
$27,438.24 from the profits of previous years. The Trustees were
well satisfied with the results, even though there had been a drop
in the Spring Show receipts.
1950— TWELVE MONTHS OF RECORD-BREAKING
THIS was to be the most prosperous year since the be-
ginning of the present 25-year period. It was to be a year
of expansion, with a membership well over the 13,000 mark.
It was to be the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Horti-
cultural Hall. Unfortunately, it also was to be a year in which
the Society was to suffer heavy losses by death.
Following the Camellia show in January, at which Mr. and
Mrs. Dana Osgood of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, received the
prize for the best bloom in the hall, Camellia Ville de Nantes, the
energies of the staff were bent toward the Spring Exhibition. With
all the conditions favorable, it was planned to make this the
superlatively beautiful show, which it proved to be.
The general theme of the Exhibition was "Old New England,"
with which all the exhibits in Grand Hall were correlated. An old
mill was placed realistically on the left of the stage by Sherman
Eddy in a scene that blended into a setting on the opposite side,
where an old forge, sponsored by Woodbury Bartlett of Hamilton,
was the center of interest.
Visitors who entered the building through Exhibition Hall
passed under a magnificent acacia display from the greenhouses
of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Stone. The Women's Exhibition Com-
mittee staged a series of "Rainbow Gardens," very colorful, as
the name suggested. The Federation of Garden Clubs tied its
exhibits into the general theme of the Show, thus providing an
ideal setting for flower arrangements that were even more artistic
and colorful than usual.
Year by year the number of special prizes offered had been
growing until, on this occasion, a small army of judges was re-
quired. The President's Cup was won by the Isabella Stewart
Gardner Museum, with the George Holliday Memorial Prize
146 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
going to John Sullivan for his skill as a gardener in growing the
outstanding amaryllis plants which made up the Museum group.
The Chestnut Hill Garden Club won the Beacon Hill Garden
Club's Cup as the most charming garden club exhibit. The Cup
offered by Mrs. John S. Ames went to the North Shore Garden
Club for the horticultural excellence of a blue and white garden.
Orchids were much in evidence at this show. Perhaps, indeed,
they had never been shown to greater advantage. The American
Orchid Society's own award was given to Mr. and Mrs. Edwin S.
Webster as having the most meritorious exhibit. The Antoine
Leuthy Gold Medal was won by Fred Walters of Chestnut Hill
for a group of odontoglossums, while the new T. A. Weston
Memorial trophy went to Orchidvale, Beverly Farms, for a large
group of orchids. Both the Women's Exhibition Committee with
Miss Mary May Binney as Chairman, and the Garden Club
Federation under Mrs. Chester Cook and Samuel B. Kirkwood,
were awarded Gold Medals. The profit of the Show was less than
in the previous year, but it amounted to the very satisfactory sum
Just a few days before the annual meeting on May 1 word was
received of the death of Professor Oakes Ames, long a Trustee
and for twelve years Vice President. He had been made an
Honorary Trustee in 1941. Before his retirement Professor Ames
was supervisor of the Arnold Arboretum and Director of the
Harvard Botanical Museum. In 1941 he had presented to Harvard
his orchid Herbarium consisting of 64,000 specimens, probably
the largest in the world. Earlier he had grown orchids extensively
at his home in North Easton. He was the author of many books
and papers, and during his long career described more than 1,000
new orchid species. He had, of course, received many honors.
Among them was the George Robert White Medal of Honor
and the Gold Medal of the American Orchid Society.
At the annual meeting President Ames said that more than a
thousand new names had been added to the membership roles,
giving a total of 13,290. It was again possible to report the largest
number of members in the Society's history, as had been pro-
gressively true for several years. This growth had necessarily
increased the amount of work to be done and additions to the
Stedman Buttrick, Elected Treasurer in 1948
TWELVE MONTHS OF GREAT PROSPERITY 147
staff had been required, giving the Society more employes than it
ever had had in the past. The President was pleased to state that
the Society's magazine had been selected for permanent record-
ing by University Microfilms of the college at Ann Arbor, Michi-
gan. Also, it had been awarded a Silver Medal by the National
Garden Institute for conspicuous service to gardening in America.
In his report as Executive Secretary Mr. Nehrling spoke of
several improvements, the most important being the installation
of Edison steam heat, which resulted in a cleaner building and
one much easier to keep properly heated. It also made possible
the use of the largest of the halls for sales in the Winter months.
Mr. Nehrling reported the death of Ellis Joy, who had served
as head janitor for twenty-seven years. Mr. Joy's long term of
service had made friends for him among hundreds of exhibitors
as well as persons renting the halls. He was to be missed partic-
ularly by the garden club members, as he seemed to know almost
in advance what their needs would be. Hooper Jackson succeeded
The report of Dr. Merrill as Chairman of the Library Com-
mittee showed an increase of 552 volumes, giving the Library a
total of 30,069 volumes, making it the largest Library of the
kind in the country. A particularly interesting accession had
been a collection of books from the Library of Mrs. Francis King
of Alma, Michigan, who had passed away. These books were
placed on exhibition in the Library, where they received much
attention. Mrs. King had received the George Robert White Medal
of Honor in 192 1, being very active as a gardener and writer.
Gifts also included a collection of books from the Library of
Robert T. Jackson, whose death has been noted, and 120 water-
colors of English wild flowers from the New England Unit of
the Herb Society of America. These watercolors, by Ellen Key,
were given in memory of Helen Noyes Webster.
Ernest Borowski, a long-time exhibitor and judge, was added
to the Board of Trustees at the 1950 annual meeting.
The annual meeting was not long over when, on May 10, the
members of the Society were saddened by the death of Edwin
S. Webster, at his home in Chestnut Hill. Mr. Webster, who had
become a Trustee in 191 7, had been elected Vice President in
148 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
1925 and became President on the death of Albert C. Burrage
in June of 1931. He was to hold that position for thirteen years,
a longer period than had been vouchsafed any of his predecessors.
Mr. Webster contributed much to the Society and took satisfac-
tion in watching its rapid growth and expansion. He gave warm
support to the activities of the American Orchid Society and to
other organizations promoting horticultural advancement in Amer-
ica. His interest in roses led to the development of a rose garden
in Quisset to be numbered among the best in New England. Mr.
Webster's greenhouses were filled with rare orchids and other
choice plants which he delighted to exhibit at Horticultural Hall
as well as at the Spring Shows for the enjoyment and benefit of the
public. He and Mrs. Webster often opened their lovely garden for
charity. Mr. Webster's interest in these and other horticultural
activities continued to the very end of a life which had rounded
out eighty- two very full and active years.
In July came the death of James Geehan, who had served as
advertising manager for Horticulture through seventeen difficult
years, which had included a depression and a war. Mr. Geehan
had been well known in the trade before becoming associated with
the Horticultural Society and had a host of friends throughout
the country. He made many valuable connections for the maga-
zine. William R. Littlefield, a graduate of Boston University with
advertising experience, was chosen to succeed Mr. Geehan.
Still another change came late in the year when William H.
Clark announced his resignation as Editor of Horticulture to take
effect on January 1, 195 1. Mr. Clark, who had served as Editor
since 1947, had decided to move to Vermont and devote himself
to the writing of books, in which field he already had won success.
Daniel J. Foley of Salem was selected from several candidates to
occupy the editorial chair as well as to maintain contact with the
newspapers. He was a graduate of the University of Massachu-
setts, where he majored in horticulture, and where he received
the first Margaret F. Motley scholarship established by the
Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts. After graduation Mr.
Foley became associated with the J. Horace McFarland Company
in Harrisburg, Pa., where he planned and edited certain of the
TWELVE MONTHS OF GREAT PROSPERITY 149
catalogues for which this firm was noted. He had four books to
The second Garden Week came in late May, when fifty-two of
the most beautiful gardens and houses in eastern Massachusetts
were visited by persons from at least thirty-four states. The
Noanett, Milton, Chestnut Hill, North Shore, Boxford and New-
buryport Garden Clubs served lunches and teas and conducted
sales in certain of the gardens. These clubs received substantial
profits from their special activities but all admission fees accrued
to the Society. As it happened the Boston Jubilee overlapped
Garden Week, but the committee arranged with the Beacon Hill
Garden Club to open some of its gardens and houses. The Society
received half of the profits.
William T. Aldrich designed a charming Garden Week poster,
which was displayed in many store windows, while an illustrated
lecture about the event was given in several states. Mrs. John
S. Ames gave a luncheon for the press and radio. Novel and
effective publicity was obtained at Filene's store, where the glass
was removed from one of the show windows, permitting the pub-
lic to walk through an enchanting garden arranged by the Bay
State Nurseries without charge. Some 10,000 persons dropped
coins into a fountain, the money obtained in this way being used
to purchase flowers for patients in local hospitals through the
Benevolent Fraternity Fruit and Flower Mission. In appreciation
the Society presented three-year-old albizzia trees from the Ar-
nold Arboretum to those persons who opened their gardens.
Because of her work in directing this great undertaking Miss
Mary May Binney was voted the Society's Gold Medal. Garden
Week made a profit for the Society of $1,142.89 and attracted
much attention. However, it was the decision of the Trustees
that it should not be continued another year because of the great
amount of additional time and effort demanded of the staff at
Horticultural Hall and the disinclination of estate owners to con-
tinue opening their grounds.
The George Robert White Medal of Honor was awarded in 1950
to William Hertrich of San Marino, California, in recognition of
his unusual ability as a landscape architect and his devotion to the
150 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
development of the San Marino Ranch into the amazingly beauti-
ful Huntington Botanical Gardens. 1
Jan de Graaff of Gresham, Oregon, was awarded the Thomas
Roland Medal. Mr. de Graaff's horticultural background could
be traced to 1611, when one of his forebears had been recorded
as a nurseryman of note. Jan de Graaff, the Committee on Special
Medals declared, was considered America's most distinguished
authority and hybridizer in the growing of daffodils. In addition,
the Committee added, his work with lilies was exciting the com-
mercial and amateur horticultural world.
The Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal went very appropriately
to Dr. Samuel L. Emsweller, principal horticulturist in the Bureau
of Plant Industry at Beltsville, Maryland. Dr. Emsweller had
achieved renown in many fields of commercial horticulture.
An amateur, Thomas C. Desmond of Newburgh, N. Y., was
commended in the form of a Gold Medal for assembling an exten-
sive collection of native American trees and shrubs on his estate
and by adding exotic woody plants to create an arboretum of
interest and importance.
A Gold Medal was awarded R. G. Chamberlain, superintendent
for John S. Ames on his estate at North Easton. Mr. Chamberlain
had shown unusual ability and skill in growing azaleas and other
rhododendrons both in the garden and in the greenhouse over a
term of years.
No estate worthy the H. H. Hunnewell Medal was found in
1950 and the Committee worked for the most part on the South
Shore and Cape Cod. Mr. and Mrs. Geoffrey G. Whitney were
awarded a Gold Medal for their sea-side estate at Woods Hole
with a citation which stated that it had "unusual charm combining
excellent architectural detail with exceptional plant material."
A Gold Medal was received by Mr. and Mrs. S. A. Kirkman for
a hill-top estate in Cotuit, where trees and spacious lawns created
an atmosphere of restful quiet.
A small garden in West Dennis won a Silver Medal for Mr. and
J The medal was presented to Mr. Hertrich by Alfred Hottes, representing the
Horticultural Society, at a luncheon sponsored by the Trustees of the Huntington
Library in April of 1951.
TWELVE MONTHS OF GREAT PROSPERITY 151
Mrs. A. L. Gifford. It was described as having simplicity and good
taste which had created an overall effect of exquisite charm.
An attractive garden in Hingham won a Silver Medal for Mr.
and Mrs. Harold S. Ross. On a steep hillside, in a limited area,
were found plants of wide variety reflecting the horticultural
interest and energy of the owners. Everywhere a high degree of
cultural excellence was noted, especially in the test gardens for
roses, tulips, daffodils and other special groups.
Dr. and Mrs. Edwin Cohn were given a Bronze Medal for a
garden in Cohasset, where full advantage had been taken of
glimpses of the ocean framed by rugged native junipers.
At the end of the year Mr. and Mrs. Robert Stone were awarded
the Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase for the most outstanding exhibit
at any of the shows, the group of acacias at the Spring exhibition,
which has been mentioned.
The financial aspects of the Society's operations for the year
1950 were exceptionally gratifying. The income exceeded expendi-
tures by $20,306.03. This improvement of about $13,000 as com-
pared to 1949 could be traced to a greater yield from investments,
an enlarged membership and a most successful Spring Show. It is
true that the running expenses had been increased by some
$10,000 and that Horticulture had to report a considerable deficit.
Nevertheless, it was possible to show the sum of $43,177.50 in
the Treasurer's earned surplus account (money that had been
accumulated from earnings) — the largest at any one time.
195 1— FINANCIAL LOSSES AND YET
A GOOD YEAR
VICISSITUDES such as beset individuals may also be ex-
perienced by institutions. Thus the year in which the
Society had known its greatest financial prosperity was
to be followed by one in which there was no profit but a loss
instead. This, however, was to result from a chain of circum-
stances which in no way set a pattern, and the year was to be a
reasonably good one in many ways. Following the small but
always pleasing camellia show in January, the great Spring Exhi-
bition opened in Mechanics Hall on May 7, with special emphasis
on orchids. This was because the annual meeting of the American
Orchid Society was to be held in Boston the week of the Show.
Through close cooperation the two Societies were able to give
the public what was probably the largest display of orchids ever
seen in America. L. Sherman Adams and George Butterworth, rep-
resenting the American Orchid Society, earned much of the credit
for assembling and grouping the plants, but they had the active
assistance of many other growers.
Splendid as they were, however, the orchids comprised only one
feature of a very beautiful and skillfully arranged exhibition. Mr.
and Mrs. John S. Ames laid out a formal azalea garden of such
excellence that it won both the Society's Gold Medal and the
Gold Medal Certificate of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
for them. At the end of the year they were to be awarded the
Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase for the most outstanding exhibit at
any of the 195 1 Shows. Jackson & Perkins came on from Newark,
N. Y. with two rose gardens and received the President's Cup.
A colorful Spring garden won the Gold Medal of the Horticultural
Society of New York for Breck's of Boston.
The Women's Exhibition Committee won the Sarah Todd
Bulkley Medal of the Garden Club of America with a group of
FINANCIAL LOSSES AND YET A GOOD YEAR 153
backyard gardens. The cup offered by Mrs. John S. Ames went
to the Cambridge Plant Club for an exhibit which displayed
the greatest horticultural excellence in the Show." There was
a long list of special orchid prizes, a list too long to be included
here. It will be found in the 1952 Year Book. The paid attendance
at this show was 109,890, about 10,000 fewer than in the previous
year, probably because of one stormy day.
At the annual meeting on May 7, held as usual in connection
with the Daffodil Show, Eugene Boerner, representing Jackson
& Perkins, was presented the President's Cup by Mr. Ames him-
self. At this meeting George Lewis, Jr. was elected a Vice Presi-
dent, succeeding Aubrey B. Butler, who continued as a Trustee,
and Albert C. Burrage was made a member of the Board.
President Ames presided at the meeting and the usual reports
were presented. Mr. Nehrling mentioned various meetings which
had been attended by members of the staff. Mr. Littlefield, the
new advertising manager of Horticulture, had been present at the
meeting of the Eastern Nurserymen's Association in New York
and that of the American Seedsmen in Chicago. Mr. Nehrling
himself had attended the fiftieth anniversary meeting of the Amer-
ican Nurserymen's Association in Washington and the Detroit
Miss Manks, the Librarian, had put her book list, "400 Books
for American Gardeners" into pamphlet form. The Society had
also published a circular, "Box Method of Obtaining Humus,"
by Stephen Fairbanks for distribution at the Spring Show and
later. A third publication was a booklet by Albert C. Burrage
with the title "A Week-end Vegetable Garden," outlining the
very successful methods used on his place in Ipswich.
The Executive Secretary also spoke of various exhibits in the
Library, among them an unusual display of lichens collected and
mounted by Vernon Prior. Some of the specimens looked like
precious stones and fascinated visitors to the Hall. Another exhibit
showing herbs and their uses also attracted attention. It was set
up by Mrs. Frances Williams, a prominent member of the Herb
Society of America.
To illustrate the activities at Horticultural Hall Mr. Nehrling
gave the schedule of one typical day, as follows:
154 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
10 a.m. — Garden Club Service meeting in the small exhibition
2 p.m. — Garden Club Flower Arrangement Section in the same
2 p.m. — Flower Arrangement Class conducted by Mrs. Teele
in the lower hall.
2.30 p.m. — New England Wild Flower Preservation Society,
Directors' meeting in the Trustees' Room.
8 p.m. — Gardeners' and Florists' Club of Boston, Executive
Committee meeting, in the room on the mezzanine floor.
In his report as Chairman of the Committee on Exhibitions, Dr.
Merrill explained a number of matters having to do with the
Spring Show, then two months over. Because the amount of space
usually assigned to regular exhibitors had to be reduced due to the
great influx of orchids additional space had to be developed. This
was accomplished by opening up the basement. The additional
expenditure incurred by this action, combined with the other
expenses incidental to the enlarged exhibition, raised the cost
considerably above the original budget. Nevertheless, there was a
profit of $30,000 in spite of an attendance kept down somewhat
by poor weather.
Reporting again, this time as Chairman of the Library Com-
mittee, Dr. Merrill stated that 351 books, supplemented by 145
bound volumes of periodicals, had been placed on the shelves in
the course of the year, an average year's acquisition. During the
year 5,647 volumes were loaned — the largest number for one
year in the history of the Society. Packages numbering 1,763
were sent to addresses in thirty-seven states. In almost every
instance the borrowers reimbursed the Society for the shipping
charges. Dr. Merrill said a new estimate of $150,000 as the value
of the Library had been made for insurance purposes. He con-
sidered this estimate very conservative.
In early October the Board of Associates of the Garden Club
of America held its annual meeting in Boston. The Society had
the privilege of entertaining this group at tea in the Trustees'
Room. The members came from all over the United States and
many of them had never before visited Horticultural Hall.
FINANCIAL LOSSES AND YET A GOOD YEAR 155
Much of what happened within the Society in 195 1 had to do
with the magazine Horticulture. The continued increase in the
cost of paper and most of the other items required in the printing
and distribution of a national publication made an increase in the
subscription rates, as well as the advertising rates, imperative. At
least that was the considered opinion of the Publication Com-
mittee, of which Dr. R. A. van Meter was Chairman, and it was
in line with the action of other magazines. Therefore it was de-
cided to raise the subscription price from $2.00 to $2.50, beginning
with January 1952. This advance would require, of course, a
larger payment from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the
Horticultural Society of New York and the Michigan Horti-
cultural Society, all of which had a working arrangement with the
Massachusetts Society, whereby they obtained Horticulture for
all their members at a discount.
After prolonged negotiations it was found impossible to arrive
at a rate of increase satisfactory to the Directors of the New York
and Pennsylvania Societies, and both these organizations voted to
withdraw from the pool. The Michigan Society remained. That
decision meant a loss of about 7,000 subscriptions after January 1,
1952. With that fact in mind, the Publication Committee imme-
diately began an intensive circulation campaign and in the course
of some months was to succeed in rilling the gap and, indeed, go-
ing beyond it. It was a somewhat expensive undertaking, how-
ever, or so it seemed at the moment. Actually much of the money
expended was to come back in circulation returns, but it produced
a loss for 195 1 of over $15,000.
With conditions shaping themselves in this manner, the Trustees
decided in October on another drastic move. They voted to in-
crease the membership dues to four dollars, beginning with Jan-
uary of 1952. This, however, was only the second increase that
had been made since the Society was founded in 1829. That there
would be a loss in members was realized but there was every
reason to believe that it would be temporary. The Trustees were
convinced that in any event there would be a net gain in member-
ship revenue. This action meant, of course, that a second campaign
would be started, this one for new members. The business office
was to be a very busy place for the rest of the year.
156 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
In October William Littlefield resigned as advertising manager
to accept a position with Flower Grower in New York. He was
succeeded by Richard Husselbee, a personable young college
graduate with sufficient advertising experience to make him
qualified for this position, and who immediately began making
contacts throughout the country.
The Trustees voted a contribution of $100 to a window box
campaign being conducted by civic groups. They also voted to
change the terms of the Albert C. Bur rage porch prize award by
making it apply to a terrace as well as a porch and by eliminating
the requirement that construction be of the current year. This was
done, of course, with the approval of the Burrage family. It had
been difficult to continue the award under the original terms.
The necrology list contained the names of three men to whom
the George Robert White medal of honor had been awarded —
Dr. Hugh P. Baker, Lambertus C. Bobbink and Professor N. E.
Hansen. In the list, too, was the name of a former Trustee, Fred
A. Wilson, as well as that of Sidney Hoffman, long a florist active
in the Spring Shows, and that of Mrs. Harriet R. Foote, noted
The George Robert White Medal of Honor for 1951 was
awarded Sir William Wright Smith, Director of the Royal Botanic
Garden in Edinburgh Scotland, and a very distinguished gentle-
man, who had been a visitor and judge at one of the Spring
Flower Shows in Boston.
Professor Alex Laurie, head of the Department of Floriculture
at Ohio State University, received the Thomas Roland Medal.
The Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal went across the continent
to Dr. Walter E. Lammerts in La Canada, California, a man
whose work as a plant breeder embraced both fruits and flowers.
The distinguished landscape architect Mrs. Beatrix Farrand of
Bar Harbor, Maine, was awarded the Society's Gold Medal in
recognition of her work, especially that on college campuses. At
the same time the Trustees complimented her for the splendid
collection of plants assembled by her in her Reef Point garden at
The last of the widely distributed awards was made to Dr.
Donald Forsha Jones, head of the Department of Genetics at the
FINANCIAL LOSSES AND YET A GOOD YEAR 157
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station — a Gold Medal for
his work in the hybridization of corn.
Oliver Wolcott, Chairman, announced nine awards by the Com-
mittee on Gardens, with the approval of the Trustees, as follows :
The Society's Gold Medal to Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Danielson of
Groton, "where rolling hills amid great trees command from a
ridge a wide sweep of hills." This award was for a small formal
garden, a retaining wall planted with alpines, a well-designed cut-
ting garden and a swimming pool edged with lawn set in an oval
of trees and shrubs. "An example of how nature can be enhanced
The Society's Gold Medal to Mrs. Aldus Higgins of Worcester
"where walls and yew hedges enclosing gardens of intimate charm,
an upward-stretching vista of turf between herbaceous borders,
sloping lawns and fine trees make a beautiful setting in perfect
proportion for the handsome Tudor house."
The Society's Silver Medal to Mrs. H. P. Emery, Worcester,
"for a place of old-fashioned charm where rambling walks lead
along a pond, to a slope of superb laurel, and down the outlet
brook, all planted with taste and great horticultural success.
Notable are the cutting garden, a sunken garden in part of the
foundation of an old barn with a pergola covered with vines, the
interesting assortment of ground covers, and above all the evidence
of years of love by a born horticulturist."
The Society's Bronze Medal to Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell Johnson,
Andover, "for their attractive place stretching back from the
village street to which superb ancient trees, well placed shrubs and
the rolling slopes of the lawn give an atmosphere of remoteness
The Albert C. Burrage Porch Fund Medal was awarded to Mr.
and Mrs, Harold S. Ross of Hingham, "for an unusual terrace
developed in conjunction with an informal group of roses and an
old wisteria vine. The design of the terrace is well balanced, pleas-
ing and restful. Unusual skill has been used in locating a pleasant
outdoor living room which on one side overlooks a steep hillside
containing plants of a wide variety and on the other a small, well-
designed formal garden."
The Society's Garden Certificate to Sylvania Electric Products,
158 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
Inc., 60 Boston Street, Salem, "for a planting of trees and shrubs
at its Loring Avenue plant in Salem that surrounds a factory with
greenery and bloom. A proof that efficiency can be joined with
Before the close of the year the Trustees voted to accept the
many trophies and medals which had been won by Peter Fisher,
a widely known florist and the man who originated the famous
Lawson carnation. Mr. Fisher had passed away and it was the
wish of his daughter, Mrs. Ethel Fisher Clapp, that the Society
should possess his trophies and medals.
By unanimous vote the employes at Horticultural Hall took
advantage of a change in the law in 195 1 which made them eligible
for social security.
With the income from the Spring Show about $18,000 less than
in the previous year, with a Horticulture loss of $18,292.46, with
the income from investments down about $3,000, with the rentals
less by $3,000. and with most expenses up, it was easy to see
why this had to be set down as a poor year. However, Mr.
Buttrick, the Treasurer, was in no way disturbed. The Society
was in a sound financial condition, he said, and he was confident
that the succeeding year would show black instead of red figures.
His confidence was justified, as will be seen.
1952— A SUCCESSFUL SHOW PROVIDES
FOR NEEDED IMPROVEMENTS
THE year 1952 opened on a note of economy, in view of
the previous year's figures, but then a highly successful
Spring Flower Show in March made it possible for the
Society to proceed with much needed improvements in the fifty-
year-old building. After the installation of Edison steam heat in
1950 the old boilers had been kept in use for the burning of
rubbish, great amounts of which collect daily but particularly
after exhibitions and rummage sales. The point had been reached,
however, where these boilers could not be used for any purpose
without expensive repairs. Consequently it was decided to remove
them and provide a modern incinerator by which to dispose of
This was a difficult and dirty undertaking, for the boilers had
been set up with the old-fashioned, enduring workmanship which
characterizes the whole building. When the work had been finished,
however, the Society found itself with another large room, provid-
ing greatly improved facilities for the janitors. Certain repairs on
the tall chimney were demanded before the incinerator could be
installed, but in the end the Society had acquired up-to-date equip-
ment making for both economy and efficiency.
A new composition floor was laid in the Lecture Hall, another
needed improvement, as this floor had been in poor condition for
many years, partly because of water which had escaped from
exhibits during flower shows. The new floor would not suffer
from such accidents. The small Exhibition Hall and the lower
Lecture Hall were given sound-proof ceilings, thus remedying
acoustic faults which had been the subject of much criticism. The
monitor section of the roof over the large Exhibition Hall was
largely reconstructed and much of the glass replaced, preventing
further leaks from that source.
160 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
Now for the Show which made this work possible. Springtime
in New England was the theme of the Show and Grand Hall at
Mechanics Building was transformed into a typical New England
scene, with hillside planting, ledge outcroppings and lovely vistas
to the sea. Much emphasis was placed on conservation, with the
State Department of Conservation cooperating, but there were
several nostalgic exhibits such as a Cape Cod cottage with a color-
ful garden set up by Harold Stevenson for Bay State Nurseries.
The Women's Exhibition Committee of the Society laid out a
series of small gardens replete with practical suggestions. The
basement was opened for exhibits as well as trade space, and the
Middlesex County beekeepers presented an extensive and interest-
ing display, using live bees.
Alexander Heimlich won the President's Cup with a North
Shore rock garden. Breck's of Boston was awarded the Gold
Medal Certificate of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and
at the end of the year was to receive the Albert C. Burrage Gold
Vase for its informal garden, glorious with bulbs, as having
been the most outstanding exhibit in any of the shows. The New
York Society's Gold Medal went to Harlan P. Kelsey, Inc. and
the Bulkley Medal of the Garden Club of America to F. I. Carter
and Sons for an exhibit of cacti and succulents.
The George Holiday Memorial Prize was awarded George
Hewitt for a group of clivias, while the Antoine Leuthy prize
went to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Stone, one of several prizes awarded
their acacia exhibit. Two cups were won by the Junior League
Garden Club for a living-terrace exhibit, one from the Beacon
Hill Garden Club and one from Mrs. John S. Ames. Mrs. Archi-
bald I. Feinberg of Newton won the John Taylor Arms award
for flower arrangements. A Silver Platter offered by the American
Orchid Society was awarded Mrs. Edwin S. Webster for a group
There was a largely increased attendance at this show — 120,894.
The actual increase over the previous year was 11,004, but no
records were broken. There was one rainy day.
There was a large attendance also at one of the smaller shows,
the Rose and Peony Show in June. Being held at the time of the
national convention of the Men's Garden Clubs of America, many
NEEDED IMPROVEMENTS MADE POSSIBLE 161
of the visitors came up from the Sheraton-Plaza Hotel to inspect
the exhibits and look over the building. They seemed much im-
pressed. The Society cooperated with the Men's Garden Club of
Boston in making the convention the success it proved to be, with
the President, the Secretary and other members on the committee.
The 1952 Exhibition of the Products of Children's Gardens
came closer to perfection perhaps than any other Children's Show
ever held by the Society. The young gardeners and exhibitors
displayed their skill both in the quality of the products grown
and in showmanship. The large exhibit of the school garden on
the Cummings estate in Woburn was of such high quality and so
well done that the judges awarded it a Gold Medal, the first ever
to be awarded at a Children's Show. "This exhibit would hold
its own with professional exhibits in any Show," was the com-
ment of Ernest Borowski, one of the judges.
At the annual meeting in May, Mr. Ames, the President, men-
tioned that the Society would observe its 125th anniversary in
two years and briefly reviewed its growth and expansion. In his
report as Executive Secretary Mr. Nehrling stated that Mr. Ames
had given the Society for its Library nine beautifully illustrated
volumes on the fruits of France and a series of works on the
cultivated trees and shrubs of France. In addition the Society
had received from Jan de Graaff of Gresham, Oregon, a collec-
tion of historic manuscripts on lilies.
Mr. Nehrling reported that George Taloumis, associate editor
of Horticulture, was on a four-months leave of absence. He visited
European countries on half pay to inspect nurseries and bulb
farms and obtain information on current trends across the water.
Miss Brenda Newton had been transferred from the Library to
the publication department for the duration of Mr. Taloumis'
absence. It was necessary also to report the death in Italy of
James Wood, who for many years had done the construction work
at the Spring Flower Shows, a very able man.
Mr. Nehrling noted that Horticulture would observe its 50th
anniversary in 1954, coincidentally with the 125th anniversary of
the Society. He reported that Mr. Foley had represented the So-
ciety at the first Soil Conditioner Conference in New York and
that Miss Manks had visited the Bailey Hortorium at Cornell Uni-
1 62 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
versity and the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Library in
Washington to check the catalogue collections in those institu-
tions. He said that those two collections with the one in Horticul-
tural Hall were the most complete in the country.
Mr. Nehrling himself represented the Society at the Thirteenth
International Horticultural Congress held in London in September
of 1952. Many of the world's research workers were present to
give their reports and Mr. Nehrling brought back a complete set
of these reports for the Society's Library. He was an advisory
member of a committee on a proposed code of nomenclature for
cultivated plants, which became one of the most important subdi-
visions of the Congress.
Mr. Nehrling made special mention of the courses in flower
arrangement which continued to be conducted by Mrs. Arthur P.
Teele, with no decrease of interest on the part of her pupils after
many years of this work. The courses were open to members of
the Society without charge, but non-members were asked to pay
a small fee. Mrs. James Perkins was added to the Board of Trus-
tees at the 1952 annual meeting.
Late in the year five awards were made by the Committee on
Special Medals, with Harold S. Ross as Chairman. The coveted
George Robert White Medal of Honor was bestowed on Dr. Albert
Francis Blakeslee, Professor of Botany and Director of the Genet-
ics Experiment Station at Smith College, Northampton, Mass.
Dr. Blakeslee, long considered one of the nation's leading genet-
icists, pioneered in the use of colchicine in his work with the
familiar Black-eyed Susan and the Datura.
The Jackson Dawson Medal for skill in the science and prac-
tice of hybridization and in propagation of hardy plants was
awarded to Arie F. den Boer, Superintendent of Water Works
Park in Des Moines, Iowa, for his outstanding work with hybrid
Dr. Victor A. Tiedjens of Marion, Ohio, formerly Director of
the Virginia Truck Experiment Station, was awarded the Thomas
Roland Medal for skill in hydroponics. He was a pioneer in
growing plants in chemical solutions.
To Fred Edmunds, Curator of the International Rose Test Gar-
NEEDED IMPROVEMENTS MADE POSSIBLE 163
den in Portland, Oregon, went the Gold Medal of the Society for
his work in behalf of better roses.
Another medal of the Horticultural Society was awarded Mrs.
Bessie Raymond Buxton of Peabody. Known throughout this
country and Europe for her knowledge of begonias, Mrs. Buxton
had recently completed a monumental task in compiling a list of
begonia species, with the names of their introducers, a total of
10,000 kinds. This list had been given to the Society. Mrs. Buxton
was prominent in other fields, too, having been the first Corre-
sponding Secretary of the Garden Club Federation of Massachu-
setts and the National Council of State Garden Clubs.
The Garden Committee under the chairmanship of Oliver Wol-
cott was very active in 1952, making no less than ten awards, al-
though none of them included the H. H. Hunnewell Medal for
an estate of three acres or more. The awards, approved by the
Trustees, were as follows:
The Society's Gold Medal to Mrs. George Lewis, Jr., Sher-
born — "a place created by her and her late husband (a fine horti-
culturist and a much-missed vice president of this Society) which
has acquired the beauty of age; an entrance court of great dis-
tinction, an allee commanding a view up the Charles River, a
circular lawn rimmed with trees and shrubs, and a garden that, in
the autumn, is a pastel of asters and artemisia."
The Society's Gold Medal to Mr. and Mrs. Henry D. Tudor,
Cambridge "a place whose gardens and summer houses perpetuate
the classic Federal Age of New England's architectural flowering."
The Society's Silver Medal to Mr. and Mrs. Albert C. Burrage,
Candlewood Farm, Ipswich — "a terrace and green garden of
hedges with vistas over rolling open and into woods, never for-
getting the model vegetable garden from which so many have
derived instruction and stimulation."
The Society's Silver Medal to Mr. and Mrs. Don S. Greer, Win-
chester — "the lawns, the alpine wall, the pool and the plantings of
shrubs and trees well become the house and give to its owners an
outlook of great beauty."
The Society's Silver Medal to Miss Louisa and Mr. Francis
W. Hunnewell, Wellesley — "lawns sloping to a field that rolls
1 64 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
between great trees, many well-grown and interesting shrubs, and
a most attractive wild garden surrounding a pool."
The Society's Bronze Medal to Reverend and Mrs. Harold G.
Arnold, West Roxbury — "superb old trees and a garden of much
charm create an oasis of peace not far from an area where the
bulldozer has done its worst."
The Society's Bronze Medal to Miss Margaret Cummings,
Topsfield — "a house on its elm-shaded terrace with an old-fash-
ioned garden, a guest house also with its garden, and a well-
planted wood path to a view of the Ipswich River."
The Society's Garden Certificate to the Misses Aimee and Rosa-
mond Lamb, Milton — "for an old place of great dignity, notable
for monumental wisteria and rhododendrons, many of them of
The Society's Garden Certificate to Mr. and Mrs. Ben: P. P.
Moseley, Ipswich — "for their extraordinary collection of rhodo-
dendron, grown with great skill, which yearly attracts both horti-
cultural experts and amateurs of floral beauty."
The Albert C. Burrage Porch Fund Medal to Mrs. Chester N.
Greenough of Belmont "for a skillfully-designed terrace which
overlooks a garden planted with flowering shrubs, trees and
roses, to provide a vista of year-round beauty."
Spring and Winter lectures covered a wide range with many
important speakers. The Winter lectures were correlated under
the title "Travel With Us Around the World." "A Botanist in
Your Grocery Store" by Dr. Richard A. Howard, head of the
department of botany at the University of Connecticut, drew a
particularly large audience. 1
A new small and very practical book, "Your Guide to a
Greener Lawn," by Geoffrey S. Cornish, published by the So-
ciety, was very well received, the distribution soon going beyond
the 10,000 mark.
In the course of the year the Society suffered a severe loss in
the death of George Lewis, Jr., a Vice President and Assistant
Treasurer, who was killed when thrown from a horse. Mr. Lewis
had been an active member of the Board of Trustees, serving on
several committees. Other names appearing in the necrology list
x The next year Dr. Howard became Director of the Arnold Arboretum.
NEEDED IMPROVEMENTS MADE POSSIBLE 165
were those of Robert Pyle, long one of the country's best known
rosarians; E. Allan Peirce, a rose grower who had been an ex-
hibitor for many years; Miss Laura G. Hills, distinguished as a
painter of floral subjects, and John W. Queen, who had long
handled the advertising at the Spring Exhibitions.
In November Mrs. Ida A. Perkins resigned as Executive Secre-
tary of the Benevolent Fraternity Fruit and Flower Mission, the
work of which was closely allied with that of the Society. She was
succeeded by Mrs. Esther L. Camfield.
Mr. Buttrick's reassuring words at the beginning of the year
were shown, when the year was over, to have been entirely justi-
fied. The red of 195 1 had been replaced by black, even though
a fairly large sum had been expended for repairs and renovations
and for extending the circulation of Horticulture. Expressed in
figures, the receipts totalled $175,299.67, with a net income
amounting to $4,407.93. The Treasurer was not quite as opti-
mistic in respect to 1953 and his judgment was remarkably keen,
as has been and will be seen.
1953— SERIOUS PROBLEMS ARE MET
WITH BOLD DECISIONS
MOMENTOUS decisions were to be made in 1953 and
under difficult circumstances. However, they did not
come until after the Spring Exhibition and as that Ex-
hibition had something to do with them, it will be considered first
and after that the annual meeting.
Golden Gardens was the theme of the Spring Show and the
golden note was carried out with marked effectiveness, especially
in the dramatic manner in which the acacias staged by Mr. and
Mrs. Robert Stone were displayed. Plantings of azaleas and
perennials by Weston Nurseries were flanked by two long
walls in Grand Hall. The famous Kurume azaleas from the green-
houses of Mr. and Mrs. John S. Ames were used with skill and
taste to complete the focal point on the stage, which was treated
as a formal garden. A circular fountain and a background of
flowering trees were provided by Bartlett Gardens. "Gardening
Around the Year" was the appropriate keynote for a series of
little gardens planned by the Women's Exhibitions Committee
under the direction of Mrs. John Cunningham.
The President's Cup was awarded to Weston Nurseries for
formal borders, which featured trees, shrubs and other plants in
Grand Hall as noted above. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Stone of Marion
won the Gold Medal of the Horticultural Society of New York for
their part in the stage display in addition to the Antoine Leuthy
prize and the Gold Medal of the Society. A garden of roses and
clematis set up with the skill always shown by Albert Hulley of
Middleboro was awarded the Gold Medal of the Pennsylvania
Horticultural Society, while the Department of Agriculture's
trophy went to Johnson Brothers, Inc. of Woburn for a rose ex-
hibit. An interesting and educational pruning exhibit staged by
the Arnold Arboretum was awarded the Bulkley Medal of the
SERIOUS PROBLEMS AND BOLD DECISIONS 167
Garden Club of America. The attendance at the Spring Show was
121,046, which was 152 more than in 1952. The income from the
Show was $55,331.53-
Through the initiative of Mr. Nehrling and the able presenta-
tion of the matter by legal counsel sent to Washington, a decision
had been obtained which did away with the tax on admissions to
the Society's Shows. This added materially to the income from the
Shows and freed the Society from much paper work. Following
this Society's example, the New York Flower Show obtained a
similar exemption. The grounds for this action were found, of
course, in the fact that the receipts from the Shows are used for
At the annual meeting in May, held at the time of the Daffodil
Show, the President, Mr. Ames, regretfully reported the resigna-
tion of two active and valued Trustees, Mrs. S. V. R. Crosby and
Ray M. Koon. Said Mr. Ames of Mrs. Crosby, "She has served
our Society as a Trustee for a period of thirty-one years. She
has given generously of her wise counsel and has manifested un-
usual interest in all our activities." Of Professor Koon he said,
"He has devoted himself faithfully to the many tasks assigned
him as a member of the Board."
The President acknowledged the receipt of an excellent por-
trait of Richard M. Saltonstall, President of the Society from
19 1 6 to 19 1 8. It was copied by H. H. Brooks from an oil paint-
ing by Frank Benson hanging in the Saltonstall homestead. With
this gift the Society had an unbroken series of portraits of all its
Presidents to the time John S. Ames took office, with two excep-
tions. The portrait of William Gray, Jr. was destroyed by fire in
1888. Francis Parkman is represented by a bust.
Mr. Ames also acknowledged the gift of 120 shares of General
Electric Stock from Mrs. Henry D. Tudor, the proceeds to be
used for purchasing milk for the children who participate in the
school garden program of the city of Boston. Mr. Ames said the
Society had received $2,500 from the estate of Stillman Benway,
this amount to be added to the Society's general fund.
In his report as Executive Secretary Mr. Nehrling spoke of
plans for observing the 125th anniversary of the Society in 1954,
along with the 50th birthday of the magazine Horticulture. The
1 68 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
Spring Flower Show would be keyed to the anniversary, he said,
the Society's history would be brought up to date, there would be
an anniversary edition of Horticulture and other features of an
extensive program would be developed. He felt that more should
be known about this Society, the oldest incorporated organization
of the kind in the country and by far the largest.
Harold D. Stevenson reported for the Committee on Exhibi-
tions, revealing that there had been a total attendance of 148,786
at the eight shows of the fiscal year, indicating the large number
of people being reached by the Society.
An exhibit of apples by Parker Brothers of Fiskdale, Mass. at
the Harvest Show brought the fact to mind that the Parkers had
been exhibiting in Horticultural Hall since 1929, setting a record
for consistent support unequaled by any other exhibitor at this
Dr. Elmer D. Merrill in his final report as Chairman of the
Library Committee said he did not want that report to be inter-
preted as pessimistic, although it might sound so. In truth, it
was, in places, even critical, although the Chairman hastened to
add that his real purpose was to indicate how and where reduc-
tions could be made if at some time it might be necessary to make
them. He said that the unit cost of recataloguing had been slightly
in excess of one dollar per volume and that the cataloguing of
several thousand sets of periodicals had only recently been com-
menced. He believed that every effort should be made to cut
corners, and added, "One suspects that the recataloguing project
was rather lightly taken up and approved ten or more years ago
without full realization of what was involved, what the total cost
might be and how long the task would be continued." He thought
too much attention was given the repairing of old volumes but
agreed with a decision to eliminate certain unnecessary sets of
periodicals, thus adding some additional shelf room. He pointed
out, however, that with about 500 books being added each year,
the shelf footage released would not last long. The Library had,
he said, 31,468 volumes, making it by far the largest Library of
the kind maintained by any similar society in the country. Yet he
had come to the conclusion that the maintenance cost per volume
SERIOUS PROBLEMS AND BOLD DECISIONS 169
was too large, perhaps because an attempt was being made to
cover too many fields. 1
At this annual meeting Dr. Ralph A. Van Meter was elected
a Vice President. Harold D. Stevenson, Dr. Donald Wyman and
Mrs. Edwin S. Webster were added to the Board of Trustees.
Oliver Wolcott was made Assistant Treasurer.
The reorganized Board was immediately called upon to con-
sider the over-all financial situation of the Society and to make
some far-reaching decisions. The Spring Show had drawn a very
large attendance, but the net proceeds were less than at some
previous Shows, as higher rent, higher insurance charges and in-
creased prize money had made the Show cost more. Repairs on
the exterior of Horticultural Hall could no longer be safely post-
poned and the estimated cost ran to about $16,000. Pointing of
the bricks on the front and two end walls was required and an
examination of the decorative features was imperative. Horticul-
ture was certain to have a deficit because of an expansion policy
on which the Publication Committee had decided.
The Society's membership dues had been increased to four
dollars in 195 1 and the number of members had dropped by 1,200.
However, the receipts from dues had become greater in spite of
this fact. The subscription price of Horticulture had been raised
in 195 1 also, but an extensive circulation campaign had served to
maintain the subscription level, although at considerable expense.
After weighing all these facts carefully and at length, the
Trustees decided on bold and aggressive action. They voted to
again raise the dues, this time to five dollars, the limit under the
amended charter, and to make another increase in the price of
Horticulture — three dollars a year by subscription and thirty-five
cents for a single copy. The new rates were to go into effect Jan-
uary 1, 1954. It was believed that the increase from dues would
more than compensate for any loss in members which might result
from this action even in the first year, and that this revenue would
continue to increase as the membership began to climb again.
The new dues were the same as those of the Pennsylvania Horti-
1 Later in the year the new Chairman of the Library Committee, Albert C.
Burrage, made a report to the Trustees which was more optimistic.
170 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
cultural Society and less than those of the Horticultural Society
of New York. What the Society offered in exhibitions, publica-
tions, free information and unparalleled library service made a
bargain package not likely to be overlooked by garden lovers.
In its plans for the expansion of Horticulture the Committee
on Publications presented the Trustees a daring, long-range pro-
gram which envisaged a type of magazine never before known
in the horticultural field and one which, it was believed, would
have an irresistible appeal. Actually, the magazine appeared in
its new form in October and was warmly received. It had eight
full pages in color done by a marvelous color process perfected by
the W. A. Krueger Company of Milwaukee, which printed the
color section. It was already evident by the end of the year that
the percentage of renewals had materially increased.
When the Society acquired the magazine in 1924 it was for one
purpose — to build up the membership and increase the influence
of the Society itself. That was still its mission, and there was no
thought of making it a commercial enterprise. Yet the more people
it could reach, the greater its opportunities would be to spread the
gospel of gardening and to aid the Society in its endeavor to be
of greater service. Thus the Trustees made memorable decisions,
with the year ahead, the anniversary year, to test their wisdom.
In the Summer Dr. Merrill presented his resignation as a mem-
ber of the Board because of ill health, and it was accepted with
expressions of deep regret. He had served as a Trustee since 1938
and had been active as Chairman of the Committee on Exhibi-
tions and Chairman of the Library Committee, much of the time
holding these important positions concurrently.
At the close of the year the Trustees announced a series of
awards as recommended by various committees. The Albert C.
Burrage Gold Vase for the most outstanding exhibit in any of
the Society's exhibitions held during the year 1953 was awarded to
Mrs. Edwin S. Webster of Chestnut Hill, for an outstanding ex-
hibit of chrysanthemums staged at the 1953 Chrysanthemum
Show. Albert C. Burrage was Chairman of the committee recom-
mending this award.
Oliver Wolcott was Chairman of the Committee on Gardens
which recommended the following awards:
SERIOUS PROBLEMS AND BOLD DECISIONS 171
A Garden Certificate to Andover Inn, Andover, "for lawns and
an old-fashioned garden where its guests may find seclusion, and
refreshment for the spirit."
A Garden Certificate to The First Church of Christ Scientist,
in Boston, "for a garden whose plantings of trees and shrubs,
whose borders in constant bloom, and whose well-kept turf con-
tribute beauty to the city at all seasons."
A Garden Certificate to Stowaway Sweets, Marblehead, "for
a well-kept garden and plantings that surround the old house con-
taining the candy shop. An instance where commerce has beau-
tified its neighborhood."
A Bronze Medal to Mrs. Grace Burnham, Marblehead, "a gar-
den on ledges overlooking the harbor, showing by its collection
of well-grown shrubs, vines, and flowers a lifetime of horticultural
A Bronze Medal to Mr. and Mrs. Louis H. Salvage, Tedesco
Point, Swampscott, "a garden of roses and perennials, a lawn slop-
ing to the sea, an effectively planted ledge and great trees, all
with an unusual perfection of maintenance."
A Bronze Medal to Mr. and Mrs. Arthur S. Ward, Marblehead,
"whose hard work and love of the earth have made an unpromising
site teem with plantings that give privacy of great charm."
A Silver Medal, to Dr. Allen C. Brailey, Newton Highlands. "A
steep hillside terraced, where paths of shavings lead down among
unusual plantings of wild flowers and restful nooks, testify to the
owner's taste and energy and give much pleasure to the guest."
A Silver Medal to Mr. and Mrs. Richard S. Humphrey, Brook-
line. "On one side lawns, sloping to a brook and rising beyond to
a coppice, and on the other a great ledge, enclose the house with
its terrace of flowers and espaliered trees."
A Silver Medal to Mr. and Mrs. Clifford C. Walker, Newton.
"Their neighborliness has made of the bordering public sidewalk
and their own retaining wall a path of beauty and horticultural
education for the passer-by, where birches shade the perfectly
kept gravel edged with lawn, and the sloping wall down which
alpines tumble amid pockets of flowers."
A Gold Medal to Mrs. Arthur Adams, Dover. "A wild pool with
lawns rising to the house and with a circling path through its
172 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
wooded background planted with a wide assortment of native
flowers and ground covers, an arbor of espaliered fruit trees in a
garden that is itself enclosed with fruit espaliered in various forms,
and the many flowering trees and shrubs, combine to convey the
epitome of spring." 2
Again the H. H. Hunnewell Medal for an estate of three acres
or more was omitted.
Harold S. Ross was Chairman of the Committee on Special
Medals, the report of which provided for awards as follows :
The George Robert White Medal of Honor to Edward I. Far-
rington of Weymouth Heights, "for a lifetime of service as ad-
ministrator, counselor, editor and author." Mr. Farrington was
Secretary of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for twenty-
three years. He established Horticulture as an amateur publica-
tion and was instrumental in organizing the Garden Club Federa-
tion of Massachusetts. The citation read, "During his long and
distinguished period of service in various horticultural endeavors
he has made a notable contribution to the advancement of Amer-
The Jackson Dawson Medal to Francis Meilland, Cap d'Anti-
bes, France, for the outstanding varieties of roses which he had
developed over a period of years, including Peace, which became
a top favorite over a large part of the world in less than ten
The Thomas Roland Medal to Arnold Davis, Director of the
Cleveland (Ohio) Garden Center. Mr. Davis was cited as a dis-
tinguished "bellwether" who had developed new interest in and
expanded the field of horticulture.
The Society's large Gold Medal to Professor Ray M. Koon,
retiring Director of the Waltham Field Station of the University
of Massachusetts. Professor Koon was cited as having made an
outstanding contribution by building and broadening the service
rendered by the Waltham station.
The Society's large Gold Medal to Joseph J. Lane of New York
City. "Through his work with the distinguished magazine House
and Garden" the citation read, "he has rendered invaluable serv-
3 This was the second time a medal had been awarded for the excellence of the
SERIOUS PROBLEMS AND BOLD DECISIONS 173
ice to maintain high standards in the field of horticultural adver-
tising and has become recognized as a roving ambassador of good-
will throughout America." This probably was the first time that
an honor of this kind had been paid a man in the advertising field
by any horticultural society.
Among the activities of the year was a television program over
WBZ-TV by Miss Brenda Newton. Miss Newton, formerly an
assistant to the Librarian, had been transferred to the publication
department and made an associate editor of Horticulture. George
Taloumis, another member of the staff, became a weekly con-
tributor to the Boston Sunday Globe.
Mr. Nehrling was called upon to act as chairman of several
committees on horticultural awards. He attended the annual con-
vention of the Men's Garden Clubs of America in Memphis,
Tenn., at which time he was elected to the Board of Directors. He
acted as Chairman of the Committee on Garden Club Publica-
The end of the year brought confirmation of the Treasurer's
forecast — there was a deficit in contrast to the profit of the pre-
vious year. The 5 3 -year-old building had reached a point at which
somewhat costly repairs were needed, although not indicating any
structural weakness in this remarkably well-built edifice. The need
of inspecting the ornaments at the top of the Hall became appar-
ent when several of them were found to be loose. It is probable
that they would have fallen in a short time, perhaps with dis-
astrous consequences. The deficit resulted in part from the cam-
paign inaugurated to expand and improve the magazine Horticul-
ture, thus increasing both its value and its circulation.
1954— ANOTHER ANNIVERSARY AND
A NOVEL CELEBRATION
INTEREST at the beginning of 1954 centered on the celebra-
tion of the Society's 125th anniversary, with a special com-
mittee to develop a program to extend throughout the year.
Seth L. Kelsey was made Chairman of this committee, the other
members being Harold S. Ross, Mrs. William A. Parker, Mrs.
John S. Ames, Mrs. Irving C. Wright, Mrs. John Cunningham,
Mrs. Roger S. Warner, Ernest Borowski, Aubrey B. Butler, Dr.
Donald Wyman and George Taloumis. The cooperation of the
Exhibition Committee was immediately sought, with the result
that the Spring Show had the anniversary as its theme. Harold
Stevenson, landscape architect and a member of the Board of
Trustees, was given the task of making an overall plan for Grand
Hall and achieved a masterpiece.
A replica of the Society's first Horticultural Hall occupied the
stage. It was flanked on one side by a bandstand where a brass
band played a series of concerts throughout the week. Opposite, a
gay flower market filled with superb blooms added a dashing note
of color. In the center of the grass plot, the seal of the Massachu-
setts Horticultural Society was sculptured using 16,000 carpet
Seth L. Kelsey of the Kelsey-Highlands Nursery, Henry Buell
of the Boston Park Department, together with Mr. and Mrs. Max
Fishelson executed this section.
The center of the hall was occupied by an extensive formal gar-
den bordered with boxwood. Herbs were used effectively around
the well-head in the center, and bright pink geraniums provided
an abundance of color. This garden was the work of Woodbury
Bartlett of the Bartlett Gardens, Hamilton.
Flanking the left wall was a brick facade of a Boston mer-
ANOTHER ANNIVERSARY IS CELEBRATED 175
chant's home complete with a dooryard garden filled with hardy-
perennials, staged by Weston Nurseries of Weston.
Along the opposite wall, a garrison-type, colonial house and
carriage shed surrounded by a planting of annuals, perennials and
madonna lilies together with many pungent herbs was done by
John Russell of Dedham for Breck's of Boston.
To complete the picture, Mr. Stevenson developed a replica of
the Boston waterfront of a century and a quarter ago, a unique
and highly interesting exhibit.
Mr. Stevenson's efforts won him a special Gold Medal award
from the magazine Horticulture. This was called a 50th Anni-
versary Medal, its significance lying in the fact that the magazine
was also observing an anniversary, having reached its 50th birth-
day. Mr. Stevenson also received a Gold Medal from the Society.
The Grand Hall display was, of course, only one feature of the
Show, all the other halls and the basement being filled with ex-
hibits. The Women's Exhibition Committee set up a series of
delightful little gardens. Many visitors stopped Mr. Nehrling to
say that they considered this the most pleasing Show that they
remembered. Indeed, the consensus of opinion seemed to be that
it ranked with the best in the Society's history.
An unusual award at the Show was made when the Garden Club
of America decided to give its Sarah Todd Bulkley Medal to the
Society itself for its unique and convincing exhibit in Grand Hall.
Previously this Medal had gone only to individuals. The new
Beatrix Farrand Silver Bowl was awarded Mr. and Mrs. John
S. Ames for an azalea garden which for design and quality of
material has seldom if ever been equalled. The Gold Medal of
the Horticultural Society of New York also went to Mr. and Mrs.
Alexander Heimlich again set up one of the splendid rock gar-
dens for which he is noted and won the President's Cup. Mr. and
Mrs. Robert G. Stone of Marion were awarded the Gold Medal of
the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society for their glorious acacias.
The Antoine Leuthy prize went to the North Shore Horticultural
Society for a tropical garden, while the Department of Agricul-
ture's trophy was awarded to Butler & Ullman for a rose garden.
176 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
Another very special award was that of the 125th Anniversary
Gold Medal of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society to the
Women's Exhibition Committee, for their very attractive exhibit
in Exhibition Hall. The 1954 Chairman of this very active group
was Mrs. Stephen Whealand.
The attendance at this Show was 126,933, a g am of 5,887 over
the previous year. There was a profit of $52,158.74.
At the annual meeting the first Monday in May in connection
with an excellent Daffodil Show Mr. Ames made a dignified
address after which much interesting information was given by the
Executive Secretary and various chairmen. Mr. Nehrling said that
2,553 new members had been added to the Society, making a
total of over 14,000. He spoke of the enthusiastic letters received
from subscribers after the first appearance of Horticulture in
color, and expressed his belief that the additional cost was justi-
fied. He mentioned a new book by Dr. Clement Gray Bowers on
"Winter Hardy Rhododendrons" which the Society had just
published and which was selling well. Mr. Nehrling revealed that
the author had been his student at Cornell. The manuscript for
this book was an anniversary gift by the author. It was stated also
that 150,000 copies of the Society's book "The Gardener's
Almanac" had been distributed, the eleventh edition having
recently been published. All the Winter lectures had been well
attended, Mr. Nehrling said, but there had been more than usual
interest in the one by Lady Inchiquin of County Clare on "Irish
Homes and Gardens."
In his report as Chairman of the Library Committee Mr. Bur-
rage disclosed that the recataloguing of the library had been
completed. This fact was a cause of gratification, for the task had
been a long and expensive one, having been begun in 1939. The
cost was $38, 702. 1
Mr. Burrage reported that 6,100 books were borrowed in 1953,
a larger number than ever before, and yet not a great number
when compared with the Society's membership of over 14,000. An
analysis showed that three-fourths of this number went to hobby
gardeners, with the remaining fourth borrowed by professionals. It
x As a matter of precaution the catalogue cards have been copied on microfilm
and these greatly reduced copies stored in a bank vault.
ANOTHER ANNIVERSARY IS CELEBRATED 177
was stated that the Albert C. Burrage collection of rare old books
and prints, received from the father of the present Chairman, was
being catalogued and made available. A rearrangement of the
Trustees' room provided an excellent location for this collection.
In this room a case will be found which contains almost all the
192 volumes listed in the Society's first catalogue, issued in 1831.
They are in excellent physical condition.
Henry G. Wendler read a stimulating report in behalf of the
Committee on the Exhibition of the Products of Children's Gar-
dens. He called the 1953 Show one that came close to perfection,
and this in spite of a cold season. An exhibit labeled "Corn is
King" was remarkable for its educational value and received the
Society's Bronze Medal as well as a first prize. Altogether the
Boston School Department had 165 prize-winning entries. The 4-H
Club exhibits in the Lecture Hall were equally commendable.
In these times, when much is written about juvenile problems,
such a report was felt to be highly reassuring.
Ernest B. Dane was added to the Board of Trustees at this
annual meeting. Mr. Dane's father was a Trustee at one time and
it was he who developed the important orchid collection which
his son now owns. Later in the year Edmund Mezitt resigned
from the Committee on Prizes for business reasons and was suc-
ceeded by Milford Lawrence of Falmouth.
The special committee's anniversary program included awards
outside the Society and in various parts of the state. Early in the
year a Certificate was voted to the Connecticut Horticultural So-
ciety for a beautiful display at the Western Massachusetts Spring
Flower Show in Springfield. A Gold Medal was awarded the Hixon
Greenhouses for a Spring garden at the Worcester Spring Flower
An Anniversary Certificate was awarded Mrs. W. H. Moore for
the most beautiful exhibit at the Summer Show of the North Shore
Horticultural Society. Frank Mailland is her gardener. Such an
award was also made to Alexander Heimlich for an exhibit with
a waterfall at the Topsfield fair.
Notice was received from the Massachusetts Society for Pro-
moting Agriculture that it had established quarters in the building
of the Wenham Historical Society and could again take over the
178 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
custody of certain books which had been stored in Horticultural
Hall in Boston. This Society is slightly older than the Horticul-
tural Society and many prominent men have been included in its
The Royal Horticultural Society having become 150 years of
age in 1954, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society sent the
following salutation, handsomely engraved on special paper :
The Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society,
on this its 125th anniversary, acting for its 14,000 members, send greet-
ings and congratulations to the Royal Horticultural Society on the oc-
casion of its sesquicentenary celebration. We recognize the preeminence
of your Society and pay tribute to its accomplishments. May it ever
prosper and extend its influence for the advancement of horticulture at
home and abroad.
It was possible for this salutation to be presented personally to
the President of the Royal Horticultural Society, as Mr. and Mrs.
Ames were in London at the time of the celebration on a visit to
their son, attached to the American embassy. They attended many
of the events held in connection with the celebration and were
warmly received. Mr. Ames was selected for special mention at
The death of Ray M. Koon in June was a tragic event. He had
retired as head of the Waltham Field Station on May 1 and with
his wife had gone to Nova Scotia to establish a new home, thus
fullfilling a long-time dream. Serious illness brought him back to
Boston and he passed away in the Massachusetts General Hos-
pital at the age of sixty-five. Professor Koon had been an active
member of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for many
years, serving as Chairman of the Committee on Exhibitions
through an extended term. He resigned from the Board of Trus-
tees in 1953 and in that year was awarded the Society's Gold
A ten-page list of 16mm motion pictures for garden club pro-
grams prepared by Dorothy S. Manks and Katherine V. Parker
was widely distributed and proved very useful.
A rearrangement of the editorial and advertising offices in
Horticultural Hall was carried out in the course of the year. This
The Society's Medal, which is
reproduced in Gold, Silver and
The Thomas Roland Medal,
Awarded for Skill in Horticul-
The Jackson Dawson Memorial
Medal, with the Late Mr. Daw-
The George Robert White Medal
Reverse of the George Robert
White Medal of Honor.
The Horatio Hollis Hunnewell
Medal, bearing the portrait of
the Late Mr. Hunnewell.
ANOTHER ANNIVERSARY IS CELEBRATED 179
made it possible to assign an individual office to each editor and
the advertising manager as well as the bookkeeper, a measure
making for much greater efficiency.
On August 3 1 New England was hit by a disastrous hurricane,
with another a week later. Hundreds of members of the Society
met with serious losses, as most of the ripening apples and pears
were blown from the trees and great numbers of ornamental trees
and shrubs were destroyed. Much damage was done to green-
houses and to outdoor crops. Some of the copper covering on the
roof of Horticultural Hall was lifted by the wind and extensive
repairs were required. Fortunately there was insurance to cover
much of this damage.
Mr. Nehrling was Chairman of the committee which arranged
the program of a Congress conducted by the American Horticul-
tural Council at the Hotel Somerset in Boston beginning October
27 and lasting four days. George Taloumis, one of his assistants,
gave an illustrated lecture at the annual dinner, at which John
C. Wister was toastmaster. On the second day the delegates visited
the Loan Art Exhibition at Horticultural Hall as guests of the
Massachusetts Horticultural Society.
The attendance at this Congress exceeded that at any similar
event. There were several unusual features, including a New Eng-
land boiled dinner, which greatly pleased guests from other states.
Mr. Nehrling was presented a bronze plaque by the associated
Bulb Growers of Holland, while the Horticultural Society was
given a scroll by the American Horticultural Council. The scroll
was accepted by Mr. Ames as President of the Society. The officers
remained as before, with Mr. Nehrling continuing as second Vice
President and a member of the Board of Directors.
The Society's magazine Horticulture had an anniversary of its
own in 1954, having attained the ripe age (at least, for a mag-
azine) of fifty years. This was indeed an event of importance,
considering that not a single amateur, all-garden magazine which
was in existence at the time of Horticulture's natal day is now
being published. To properly observe this event the editors pre-
pared an elaborate anniversary edition, which was issued in Octo-
ber. It contained many important and interesting historical articles
and a wealth of illustrations, many of them handdrawn. The cover
180 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
was reproduced from a painting of the first Flower Show con-
ducted by the Society 125 years ago.
At a luncheon on the second day of the Congress mentioned
above Horticulture's Golden Anniversary Scrolls were presented
to four veteran editors, James H. Burdett, Fred F. Rockwell,
E .L. D. Seymour and Edward I. Farrington. Richardson Wright
was to be included but unfortunately could not be present. The
presentation address was made by Daniel J. Foley, Editor of Hor-
The magazine had increased its circulation to 50,000 as the year
neared its close. One thousand new subscribers were obtained at
the Spring Flower Show in New York and an attractive booth set
up at many fairs throughout the country during the Summer and
Autumn months introduced the magazine to thousands of persons
attracted by the remarkable color plates appearing in each issue.
Mr. Husselbee went as far West as the Pacific Coast, making ad-
vertising and circulation contacts. Later Mr. Foley went to the
West Coast and into Canada to arrange for contributions from
those sections. In the course of the Summer Mr. Nehrling made
arrangements with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to re-
sume the plan of sending Horticulture to all the members of that
organization at a satisfactory price. Thus close ties were renewed
with the progressive and expanding Pennsylvania Society.
The closing event of the Society's 125th anniversary celebra-
tion was unusual and distinctive. It took the form of a great loan
exhibition of paintings and other works of art to indicate the
influence of horticulture in this field. "Flowers in Art and Decora-
tion," to use the formal description of the exhibition, required the
use of all the halls in the building, with great numbers of valuable
articles from private homes, museums and other sources. Fresh
flowers were used in profusion for special decorations and the
exhibition was open ten days. An invitation luncheon was served
at the Harvard Club on the opening day, October 24, after which
there was a private inspection of the exhibits, the doors being
opened to the public at 6 p.m. It is believed that an exhibition of
this kind on a large scale had never before been undertaken.
The total attendance was 12,752. Each member of the Society
was admitted once without charge. The general admission was
ANOTHER ANNIVERSARY IS CELEBRATED 181
$1.50. The receipts were not sufficient to entirely cover the ex-
pense, but many of the visitors remained to become members.
The Exhibition added greatly to the prestige of the Society and
received the highest commendation from art critics, newspapers
and radio editors.
Notice was received that Mr. Nehrling had been awarded the
Tessie K. Scharps Memorial Life Membership in the Horticultural
Society of New York. This was "in recognition of his outstanding
contributions to horticulture throughout his lifetime of service."
Announcement was also made that Mr. Nehrling had been selected
to lead a garden tour through the islands of Hawaii in June of
1955, the tour being sponsored by the Massachusetts Horticultural
Society and endorsed by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.
So, as this twenty-five years of history began with an anniver-
sary and a celebration, it comes to a close in the same manner.
Who can doubt that the Society will go on having anniversaries
and celebrations until that unhappy day when gardening shall
become outmoded and science alone shall rule the lives of men.
MEDALS OF THE MASSACHUSETTS
The Society's Large Gold Medal — This Medal was designed by
Francis N. Mitchell, apparently in 1847, as tne records show that a
bill was rendered as of January 14, 1848, in the amount of $250. A
replica in bronze was given to each member of the Committee on
Medals, consisting of Messrs. Newhall, Stickney, Teshemacher, Hovey,
Walker, and the president, Marshall P. Wilder. At present, the large
Gold Medal costs about $86.40.
The Society's Exhibition Medal — This Medal is a reproduction
of the large Gold Medal on a smaller scale. It was authorized at a
meeting of the Executive Committee in 1923, at which time the secre-
tary was instructed to obtain dies for this Medal. The dies were made
at a cost of $325 by the Medallic Art Company, New York City. The
small Gold Medal costs about $51.70 at the present time.
The Society's Silver Medal — This Medal is a replica in silver
of the Society's large Gold Medal.
The Society's Bronze Medal — This is a bronze replica of the
Society's large Gold Medal.
The George Robert White Medal of Honor — This Medal is
considered the most important horticultural award in America. It was
made possible through a gift of $7,500 by the late George Robert
White and a subsequent gift of $2,500 by his sister, Mrs. Harriet J.
Bradbury. The Medal was designed by John Flanagan and made by
the Medallic Art Company. A new die is made each year with the
name of the recipient molded into it. This Medal costs, at the present
time, about $554. It is awarded by the Board of Trustees of the So-
ciety to "the man or woman, commercial firm or institution, in the
United States, or of some other country that has done the most in
recent years to advance the interest in horticulture in its broadest
1 84 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
Appleton Medal — This is one of the Society's earliest Medals, but
its use was discontinued by vote of the Trustees in 1924. It carries the
likeness of Samuel Appleton and was designed by Francis N. Mitchell,
whose bill, dated August 5, 1848, was for $125.
Centennial Medal — This was a special Medal of which only 100
were awarded. It was given out only at the time of the Centennial
Year of the Society in 1929. This Medal was designed by John Para-
mino, who used the Society's seal as a basis and surrounded it with a
border, afterwards adding a base. Mr. Paramino was paid $300 and
the dies were made by Whitehead & Hogue for $244.
Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal — This Medal was made pos-
sible through a fund raised by the Horticultural Club of Boston, of
which Mr. Dawson was long a member. It bears Mr. Dawson's portrait
and was made by the Robbins Company of Attleboro at a cost of
$250. The first Medal was struck in 1927. The present cost of this
Medal is about $113. This Medal is made from the income of a fund
now totaling $3,227. This fund may be used for prizes, lectures and
medals, or as the Trustees may direct, to encourage the science and
practice of hybridization and the propagation of hardy woody plants.
Thomas Roland Medal — This Medal was designed by Mrs. Oakes
Ames and made by the Gorham Company in 1927. The first Medal and
case cost $177.50 and were presented to Mr. Roland at a meeting of
the Trustees on March 29, 1927. Its face bears appropriately the
representation of a cypripedium orchid, Mr. Roland having been par-
ticularly fond of cypripediums. The cost of this Medal was shared by
various friends with a small appropriation from the Society. The
present fund is $3,000, the income being used for Medals to be awarded
to men and women who have shown exceptional skill in horticulture,
and for lectures. The present cost of each Medal is about $119.
Hunnewell Medal — This Medal was designed by John Paramino
and bears the head of the late H. Hollis Hunnewell, for many years
an officer and benefactor of this Society. The first Medal was given
to the Hunnewell family. The original cost of this Medal, including
design and dies, was $550. This Medal costs at the present time $100
and it is paid for from a fund of $2,000 established by Mr. Hunnewell
in 1864 for prizes to be awarded "to the owners of estates of not less
than three acres in extent who shall lay out and plant them with the
most rare and desirable ornamental trees and shrubs, in the most
tasteful and effective manner, developing the capabilities of the loca-
THE SOCIETY'S MEDALS 185
tions in the highest degree, and presenting the most successful exam-
ples of science, skill, and taste, as applied to the embellishment of a
country residence; the trees to be under the most thorough cultivation,
the grounds in high keeping, and the prizes to apply equally in cases
where proprietors take professional advice, as well as when acting on
their own judgment in their improvements."
It is now so difficult to meet these requirements that the Medal is
awarded only occasionally.
SPECIAL AWARDS AT THE FLOWER SHOWS
Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase — Given for the most outstanding
exhibit at any of the Society's shows in the calendar year. From a fund
of $10,000 established by Mr. Burrage in 1929. The cost of each vase
The President's Cup — Given for the most meritorious exhibit at
the Spring Show. Offered and paid for by the President of the Society.
Always the same size and pattern from a design selected by each
Gold Medal of the Horticultural Society of New York —
Offered and paid for by that Society since 1928. Given for the most
beautiful exhibit at the Spring Show.
Gold Medal Certificate of the Pennsylvania Horticultural
Society — The certificate has been substituted for a gold medal since
World War II. Given for the exhibit at the Spring Exhibition showing
the highest standard of culture.
Trophy of the Massachusetts Deparment of Agriculture —
Awarded since 1939. A silver bowl paid for by the Department and
given at the Spring Show for the best exhibit staged by a commercial
grower in Massachusetts.
Sarah Todd Bulkley Bronze Medal — Offered and paid for by
the Garden Club of America since 1940. Given for an exhibit of spe-
cial merit and/or for educational value.
Antoine Leuthy Prize — A Medal from a fund established by Mr.
Leu thy in 1948. Given at the Spring Show for the best display of
flowering or foliage plants.
186 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
Beacon Hill Garden Club Cup — A challenge or rotating cup
engraved with the names of the winners and kept on display at Horti-
cultural Hall. Offered since 1938 for the most charming garden club
exhibit at the Spring Show.
George Holliday Memorial Prize — Cash, offered and paid for
since 1945 by Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Stone for an exhibit of pot
plants showing the highest standard of culture set up by a private
gardener at the Spring Show. Paid to the gardener. May be withdrawn
at any time. In memory of George Holliday, long superintendent on the
Marion estate of the Stone family.
Crystal Vases — Society's prizes awarded for the best blooms at the
Daffodil and Tulip Shows.
An Important Garden Book — Awarded by the Society for the best
bloom at each Camellia Show.
New England Gladiolus Society Anniversary Prize — An illu-
minated Scroll awarded by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society at
each exhibition of the Gladiolus Society for the best spike in the one
spike open class.
The Beatrix Farrand Silver Bowl — Offered at the Spring Show
for the best exhibit of rhododendrons or azaleas. A rotating or per-
petual trophy presented by Mrs. Farrand in 1953. To be engraved each
year and kept on display in Horticultural Hall.
ALBERT C. BURRAGE PORCH PRIZE AWARDS
Albert C. Burrage created a fund in 1929 for what has come to be
known as the Burrage Porch Prize. It originally provided for a Gold
Medal to be awarded for a porch erected in Massachusetts in the
current year, but held as requirements that it must be added to a
house already standing, that it must overlook a garden and that it
should receive a generous amount of direct sunlight each day. After
a time it became difficult to meet these requirements and the award was
made only occasionally. Therefore, in 1951, the Board of Trustees
voted to alter the terms of this fund, with the consent of the Burrage
family, and as now phrased it may apply to a terrace, veranda or other
addition to a home overlooking a garden and need not necessarily be
constructed in the current year. The requirement that the new con-
struction must be an addition to a house already built still stands.
THE SOCIETY'S MEDALS 187
Porch awards have been made as follows:
1929 — Ben: Perley Poore Moseley, Ipswich.
1930 — Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Robinson, Needham.
1 93 1 — Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Goodridge, Milton.
1932 — Paul O. Nafe, Boston.
1935 — Clifford Brown, Wellesley.
1936 — Mrs. Charles S. Jenney, Brookline.
1938 — Miss Alice G. Higgins, Newburyport.
1940 — Mrs. Abbot Peterson, Brookline.
1 95 1 — Mr. and Mrs. Harold S. Ross, Hingham.
1952 — Mrs. Chester N. Greenough, Belmont.
1953 — Mr. and Mrs. William Febiger, Manchester.
GEORGE ROBERT WHITE MEDAL OF HONOR
1909 — Professor Charles S. Sargent, Director of the Arnold Arboretum.
19 10 — Jackson Thornton Dawson, plantsman of the Arnold Arboretum.
191 1 — Victor Lemoine, Nancy, France, originator of new varieties of
flowering garden plants.
191 2 — Michael H. Walsh, Woods Hole, Mass., rose specialist.
1913 — Park Commission of Rochester, N. Y., for tasteful landscape
1 9 14 — Sir Harry James Veitch, London, England, nurseryman, for the
propagation of ornamental garden plants.
191 5 — Ernest Henry Wilson, Boston, Mass., for botanical and horti-
cultural work in China and Japan. Famous as a plant hunter.
19 1 6 — William Robinson, London, England, for educational work in
191 7 — Niels Ebbesen Hansen, Brookings, S. D., for plant and fruit
introductions in the northwestern states.
1 9 18 — Dr. Walter Van Fleet, Washington, D. C, for the production
of new varieties of roses.
19 19 — Vilmorin-Andrieux et Cie, Paris, France, for the introduction
of new varieties of plants and vegetables.
1920 — Georges Forrest of England, for the introduction of new garden
plants from China.
192 1 — Mrs. Louisa Yeomans King, Alma, Mich., for her work in popu-
1922 — Albert Cameron Burrage, Boston, for advancing interest in
horticulture, especially in the cultivation of orchids.
188 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
1923 — John McLaren, San Francisco, Calif., for the development of
horticulture on the Pacific Coast.
1924 — Joseph Pernet-Ducher, Venissieux-les-Lyons, France, for his
work as a producer of valuable new roses.
1925 — Professor Ulysses P. Hedrick, Geneva, N. Y., for the introduc-
tion of new fruits.
1926 — Pierre S. duPont, Wilmington, Del., for extending the love of
flowers, and for the establishment of a great Winter garden.
1927 — Dr. Liberty Hyde Bailey, Ithaca, N. Y., educator, author and
1928 — Colonel William Boyce Thompson, Yonkers, N. Y., for plant
1929 — Miss Gertrude Jekyll, England, amateur gardener and the
author of many important books.
1930 — David Grandison Fairchild, Washington, D. C, for seed and
1 93 1 — Dr. Frederick V. Coville, Washington, D. C, for horticultural
research work, particularly with blueberries.
1932 — W. A. Manda, South Orange, N. J., for his activity along horti-
cultural lines, the introduction and dissemination of new and
1933 — J. Horace McFarland, for his work in placing horticulture in
America on a high plane.
1934 — Captain F. Kingdon Ward, British plant collector and explorer,
for the introduction of new plants and for his books.
1935 — Prof. Oakes Ames, Boston and North Easton, Mass. Noted
botanist, orchid authority, director of Harvard University's
horticultural and botanical collections.
1936 — Harlan Page Kelsey, East Boxford, Mass. Nurseryman, horti-
cultural authority, member of " Standardized Plant Names"
committee, advisor to the National Park Service.
1937 — Frederick Law Olmsted, Brookline, Mass. Leading landscape
architect, whose work in developing public parks throughout
the country had won him great distinction.
1938 — Robert Moses, New York City. The award was for his remark-
able work in developing the New York Park System, thus
bringing horticulture closer to the people of his city.
1939 — George T. Moore, St. Louis, Mo., director of the Missouri
Botanical Garden which he had developed into one of the
most notable institutions of the kind.
1940 — Sir Arthur William Hill, director of the Royal Botanic Garden,
THE SOCIETY'S MEDALS 189
Kew, England, and a powerful influence on horticulture in
1 94 1 — Prof. Frank A. Waugh, Amherst, Mass., emeritus professor of
landscape architecture at Massachusetts State College, teacher,
1942 — Jens Jensen, Ellison Bay, Wisconsin. Given in recognition of
his great work as a landscape architect throughout the Middle
1943 — Richardson Wright, New York, N. Y. Author, 30 years editor
of House and Garden, chairman of the International Flower
Show and influential in many organizations.
1944 — Theodore Wirth, Minneapolis, Minn. Given for his remarkable
work in developing public parks in Hartford, Conn, and in
1945 — William N. Craig, Weymouth. Private gardener and nursery-
man. Given for a lifetime devoted to the improvement of
horticulture in many fields.
1946 — Dr. Elmer Drew Merrill, Jamaica Plain, Mass. Former director
of the Arnold Arboretum and administrator of the botanical
collections at Harvard University, authority on Philippine
botany, one-time director of the New York Botanical Garden.
1947 — Ernest F. Coe, Coconut Grove, Fla. Given for a lifetime devoted
to the establishment of Everglades National Park.
1948 — Lord Aberconway, president of the Royal Horticultural Society
in London, and a man who had exercised an important in-
fluence on horticulture in England.
1949 — Dr. Wilson Popenoe, director, Escuela Agricola Panamericana,
Honduras. Given for his highly important work in improving
and extending horticulture and agriculture in Latin America.
1950 — William Hertrich, San Marino, Calif. Given in recognition of his
ability as a landscape architect, and particularly his develop-
ment of the beautiful Huntington Botanical Gardens.
195 1 — Sir William Wright Smith, Edinburgh, Scotland, director of the
Royal Botanic Garden. He made this institution famous by
growing there great numbers of the plants discovered by Ward,
Rock and others in Western China.
1952 — Dr. Albert Francis Blakeslee, Northampton, Mass. As a geneti-
cist, he had drawn upon his vast knowledge to interpret
scientific facts in a way that can be understood by the layman.
1953 — Edward I. Farrington, Weymouth, Mass. Author, editor, secre-
tary of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for 23 years.
1 9 o TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
ALBERT C. BURRAGE GOLD VASE AWARDS
1930 — Albert C. Burrage, for a large group of orchids at the Spring
1 93 1 — Bobbink & Atkins, for an exhibit of roses at the Spring Show.
1932 — Mrs. Albert C. Burrage, for an exhibit of orchids at the Spring
1933 — Ralph Hancock, for a rock garden at the Spring Show.
1934 — The Gardner Museum, for a modernistic arrangement of chrysan-
themums at the Autumn Show.
1935 — Jere A. Downs, for the Cymbidium Beatrice.
1936 — Mrs. Frederick F. Brewster, for a tulip garden at the Spring
1937 — Mr. and Mrs. Francis B. Crowninshield, for a chrysanthemum
garden at the Autumn Show.
1938 — Mr. and Mrs. Ben: Perley Poore Moseley, for an azalea garden
at the Spring Show.
1939 — Mr. and Mrs. Edwin S. Webster, for a chrysanthemum garden
at the Autumn Show.
1940 — Cherry Hill Nurseries, for a comprehensive exhibit of peonies,
rhododendrons and azaleas at the June Show.
1 94 1 — Mrs. Galen L. Stone, for a group of acacias at the Spring Show.
1942 — Mr. and Mrs. M. M. Van Beuren, for a lily garden at the Spring
1943 — L. Sherman Adams, for a group of orchids at the Spring Show.
1944 — Albert A. Hulley, for a clematis garden at the Spring Show.
1945 — Frost & Higgins Co., for a California Redwood scene at the
1946 — Bay State Nurseries, Inc., for a Memorial Garden at the Spring
1947 — Sherman W. Eddy, for a Vermont covered bridge scene at the
1948 — Alexander Irving Heimlich, for a ledge garden at the Spring
1949 — Harlan P. Kelsey, Inc., for an informal garden at the Spring
1950 — Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Stone, for an entrance planting of
acacias at the Spring Show.
1951 — Mr. and Mrs. John S. Ames, for an informal azalea garden at
the Spring Show.
THE SOCIETY'S MEDALS 191
1952 — B reek's, for an informal garden at the Spring Show.
1953 — Mrs. Edwin S. Webster, for a group of chrysanthemums at the
JACKSON DAWSON MEMORIAL MEDAL
1927 — Lambertus C. Bobbink, Rutherford, N. J.
1928— T. D. Hatfield, Wellesley, Mass.
1929 — Charles Sander, Brookline, Mass.
1930 — William Anderson, South Lancaster, Mass.
1 93 1 — William Henry Judd, Jamaica Plain, Mass.
1932 — Charles O. Dexter, Sandwich, Mass.
1933 — E. G. Hill, Richmond, Ind.
1934 — H. Harold Hume, Gainesville, Fla.
1935 — H. M. Hovath, Mentor, Ohio.
1936 — Robert M. Gray, Cienfuegos, Cuba.
1937 — J. E. Spingarn, Amenia, N. Y.
1938 — Joseph B. Gable, Stewartstown, Pa.
1939 — Walter D. Brownell, Little Compton, R. I.
1940 — Guy G. Nearing, Ridgewood, N. J.
1 94 1 — Frederick Huber Howard, Los Angeles, Calif.
1942 — Henry T. Skinner, Chestnut Hill, Pa.
1943 — Wilfrid Wheeler, Falmouth, Mass.
1944 — Joseph Herbert Hill, Richmond, Ind.
1945 — Walter B. Clarke, San Jose, Calif.
1946 — Isabella Preston, Ottawa, Canada.
1947 — Prof. M. A. Blake, New Brunswick, N. J.
1948 — Prof. Harold B. Tukey, East Lansing, Mich.
1949 — Prof. Richard Wellington, Geneva, N. Y.
1949 — Prof. George Slate, Geneva, N. Y.
1950 — Dr. Samuel L. Emsweller, Beltsville, Md.
195 1 — Dr. Walter E. Lammerts, La Canada, Calif.
1952 — Arie F. den Boer, Des Moines, Iowa.
1953 — Francis Meilland, Cap d'Antibes, France
THOMAS ROLAND MEDAL AWARDS
1927 — Thomas Roland, Nahant, Mass.
1928— E. G. Hill, Richmond, Ind.
1929 — Frank R. Pierson, Tarrytown, N. Y.
i 9 2 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
1930 — Carl Purdy, Ukiah, Calif.
1 93 1 — J. D. Eisle, Philadephia, Pa.
1932 — Dr. Walter G. Kendall, Atlantic, Mass.
1933 — Lambertus C. Bobbink, Rutherford, N. J.
1934 — William Kleinheinz, Elkins Park, Pa.
1935 — William N. Craig, Weymouth, Mass.
1936 — Elmer D. Smith, Adrian, Mich.
1937— Dr. A. B. Stout, New York, N. Y.
1938 — Alex Cumming, Jr., Bristol, Conn.
1939 — August Koch, Chicago, 111.
1940 — George Pring, St. Louis, Mo.
1 94 1 — C. J. van Bourgondien, Babylon, Long Island.
1942 — Vincent L. DePetris, Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.
1943 — Edward Owen Orpet, Santa Barbara, Calif.
1944 — Albert A. Hulley, Middleboro, Mass.
1945 — Edmund F. Palmer, Vineland Station, Ontario.
1946— Thomas H. Everett, New York, N. Y.
1947 — Eric Walther, San Francisco, Calif.
1948 — Henry Kohankie, Painesville, Ohio.
1949 — Montague Free, Brooklyn, N. Y.
1950 — Jan de Graaff, Gresham, Ore.
1 95 1 — Prof. Alex Laurie, Columbus, Ohio.
1952 — Dr. Victor A. Tiedjens, Marion, Ohio.
1953 — Arnold Davis, Cleveland, Ohio.
H. H. HUNNEWELL MEDAL AWARDS
1870 — Edward S. Rand, Jr., Dedham
1873 — William Gray, Jr., Dorchester
1879 — Francis B. Hayes, Lexington
1894— Nathaniel T. Kidder, Milton
1898 — Mrs. David Nevins, South Framingham, Mass.
1899— Arthur F. Estabrook, Beach Bluff
1 90 1 — Oakes Ames, North Easton
1902 — Charles H. Tenney, Methuen
1903 — Henry H. Rogers, Fairhaven
1906 — Mrs. John L. Gardner, Brookline
1907 — Morton F. Plant, Groton, Conn.
1910 — George E. Barnard, Ipswich
191 1 — Col. Harry E. Converse, Marion
191 6 — Walter Hunnewell, Wellesley
THE SOCIETY'S MEDALS 193
1923 — Mr. and Mrs. Henry S. Hunnewell, Natick
1924 — Henry H. Richardson, Brookline
1925 — Caleb William Loring, Manchester
1925 — Bayard Thayer, Lancaster
1926 — William S. Endicott, Dan vers
1927 — Frederick S. Moseley, Newburyport
1928 — Mr. and Mrs. R. T. Crane, Jr., Ipswich
1929 — Mrs. Gustavus D. Parker, Osterville
1930 — Mr. and Mrs. Edward D. Brandegee, Brookline
1 93 1 — Mr. and Mrs. John S. Ames, North Easton
1933 — Mrs. Homer Gage, Shrewsbury
1934 — Grenville Lindall Winthrop, Lenox
1935 — Russell Tyson, North Andover
1937 — Mrs. William Henson Baltzell, Dover
1938 — Mr. and Mrs. Geoffrey G. Whitney, Milton
1940 — Mr. and Mrs. Clement S. Houghton, Chestnut Hill
1942 — Mrs. William A. Parker, North Easton
1946 — Mrs. R. Boyer Miller, Wenham
1949 — Dr. George O. Clark, Newburyport
PORTRAITS, BUSTS AND VASES
The following is a complete list of the portraits and other paintings,
the busts, and the vases at Horticultural Hall as of December 31, 1954:
H. A. S. Dearborn Roxbury 1829-34
Copied by Jane Stewart from a portrait painted by her father, Gilbert
Stuart. Paid for by the Society May 1, 1861, $101.70. Restored after
the fire of 1888 by Frederick E. Wright, Boston. Paid for by the
Society, June 20, 1889, $150.
Zebedee Cook, Jr. Dorchester 1835
Painted by Walter M. Brackett. Paid for by the Society, May 10,
1861, $75. Restored after the fire of 1888 by Frederick E. Wright.
Paid for by the Society, December 26, 1889, $150. Restored by
Walter M. Brackett, Boston, May 25, 1895, $ 2 5-
Elijah Vose Dorchester 1835-40
Painted by J. Harvey Young, Boston. Paid for by the Society,
April 24, 1 86 1, $100. Restored after the fire of 1888 by Frederick
194 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
E. Wright, Boston. Paid for by the Society, June 14, 1889, $150.
Restored by Walter M. Brackett, Boston. Paid for by the Society,
May 25, 1895, $200.
Marshall P. Wilder Dorchester 1841-48
Painted by Jane Stuart, Boston. Paid for by the Society, April 12,
1861, $75. Restored after the fire of 1888 by E. T. Billings, Boston.
Paid for by the Society, June 4, 1889, $150.
Samuel Walker Roxbury 1849-51
Painted by Alonzo Hartwell, Boston. Paid for by the Society, April
13, 1861, $100. Restored after the fire of 1888 by Frederick E.
Wright, Boston. Paid for by the Society, June 14, 1889, $150.
Joseph S. Cabot Salem 1852-57
Painted by Walter M. Brackett, Boston. Paid for by the Society,
April 1, 1861, $100. Restored by Walter M. Brackett, Boston. Paid
for by the Society, June 10, 1889, $200.
Josiah Stickney Watertown 1858
Painted by Alonzo Hartwell, Boston, 1861. Paid for by the Society.
Joseph Breck Brighton 1859-62
Painted by Henry C. Pratt, Boston. Paid for by the Society, April
8, 1861, $75. Repaired after the fire by Frederick E. Wright, Boston,
June 14, 1889, $75.
Charles M. Hovey Cambridge 1863-66
Painted by Alonzo Hartwell, Boston, March 17, 1865. Paid for by
the Society, $125. Frame and Tablet bought of Williams & Everett,
Boston, May 19, 1865, $51.75. Restored after the fire of 1888 by
Frederick E. Wright, Boston. Paid for by the Society, June 20, 1889,
J. F. C. Hyde Newton 1867-70
Painted by Alonzo Hartwell, Boston. Paid for by the Society,
August 21, 1867, $125. Restored after the fire of 1888 by Jean Paul
Selinger, Boston. Paid for by the Society, June 1, 1889, $200.
William C. Strong Brighton 1871-74
Painted by Virgil Williams, Boston. Paid for by the Society, May
27, 1871, $200. Restored after the fire of 1888 by Jean Paul Selinger,
Boston. Paid for by the Society, June 1, 1889, $200.
William Gray, Jr. Dorchester 1878-79
Painted by J. Harvey Young. Paid for by the Society, December,
PORTRAITS, BUSTS AND VASES 195
1878, $200, The portrait of William Gray, Jr. is not in the Hall,
probably having been destroyed by the 1888 fire, but is included to
keep the record straight. For an account of the fire see Benson's
Francis B. Hayes Boston 1880-84
Painted by E. T. Billings, Boston. Paid for by the Society, June 4,
1889, $150. Frame made by Hastings & Davenport, September 30,
John B. Moore Concord 1884-85
Painted by E. T. Billings. Paid for by the Society, May 18, 1886,
$150. Restored after the fire of 1888 by E. T. Billings, Boston. Paid
for by the Society, June 4, 1889, $150.
Henry P. Walcott Cambridge 1886-89, I00 4
Painted by Edward H. Barnard, Boston. Paid for by the Society,
June 19, 1891, $200. Frame bought of J. Eastman Chase, Boston,
William H. Spooner West Roxbury 1890-92
Painted by Miss Helen M. Hinds, Boston. Paid for by the Society,
December 6, 1893, $200. Framed by George E. Davenport, Boston,
$45. Portrait restored by Walter M. Brackett, Boston, May 25, 1895,
N. T. Kidder Milton 1893-95
Painted by J. Harvey Young, Boston. Paid for by the Society,
September 27, 1897, with frame, $560.
Francis Henry Appleton Peabody 1896-1900
Painted by Marie Danforth Page. Paid for by the Society, January
24, 1903, $200. Frame, $40.
O. B. Hadwen Worcester 1901-03
Painted by Henry E. Kinney of Worcester. Paid for by the Society,
May 18, 1904, $100, including frame.
Arthur F. Estabrook Boston 1905-06
By Joseph DeCamp. Presented by the executors of the Estabrook
Stephen M. Weld Dedham 1907-10
By R .S. Merryman. Cost $250.
196 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
Charles W. Parker Boston 1911-12
Painted by his son, Charles S. Parker. Paid for by the Society,
February 2, 191 5, $250, including frame.
John K. M. L. Farquhar Boston 1913-15
Gift of the Horticultural Club of Boston. Presented December, 1925.
Richard M. Saltonstall Chestnut Hill 191 6-1 9 18
Painted by H. H. Brooks from an original. Presented by Richard
Saltonstall, February 1953.
William Crowinshield Endicott Boston 191 9-1920
Painted by Marie Danforth Page. Presented by Mrs. Endicott April,
Albert Cameron Burrage Beverly Farms 1921-1931
Artist unknown. Presented to the Society November, 1944.
Edwin S. Webster Chestnut Hill 193 2-1 944
Painted by Philip A. de Laszlo, November, 1925. Presented by Edwin
S. Webster, April 1947.
Samuel Downer Dorchester
Councillor. One of the founders. Member of the fruit committee for
many years. November 12, 1870. Presented by his son, Samuel
Cheever Newhall Dorchester
Treasurer. One of the founders of the Society. First treasurer. Vice-
president for many years. September, 1869. Presented by the Massa-
chusetts Agricultural Club.
Aaron D. Weld Boston
One of the earliest and most active members of the Society. Pre-
sented by friends, 1872.
Joseph H. Billings West Roxbury
Presented by friends, 1872.
Robert Manning Salem
Member. Councillor, 1841. Secretary, 1876-1902. Painted by H. E.
Kinney, October 25, 1902. Paid for by the Society, $100.
PORTRAITS, BUSTS AND VASES 197
Jacob W. Manning Reading
Painted by Henry Cook. Presented in 1923 by his sons: Warren H.
Manning, William S. Manning, A. Chandler Manning, J. Woodward
Manning, Benjamin F. Manning.
Edwin W. Buswell Maiden
Chairman of Flower Committee, Treasurer, Librarian, Correspond-
ing Secretary. Presented by friends.
Benjamin P. Cheney Boston
Member of Boston Finance Committee. Presented by friends.
H. Hollis Hunnewell West Needham
Vice-President, 1864-74. Presented by the family, 1904.
John Davis Williams French Boston
Presented by the family, 1902.
Benjamin V. French Boston
Councillor. Vice-President, 1840-57. Presented by his nephew, Ben-
jamin V. French of Lynn, 1872.
Aaron Davis Williams Boston
Councillor. Presented by his son, Aaron D. Williams, 1872.
William Kenrick Newton
Councillor. One of the founders of the Society, member of the council
and of the fruit committee. Presented by Marshall P. Wilder on
behalf of a few gentlemen, March 4, 1871.
J. B. Russell Boston
Councillor. One of the founders of the Society taking an active part
in its organization and afterwards acting as its general agent. Pre-
sented by Marshall P. Wilder on behalf of a few gentlemen, March
Samuel Sweetzer Cambridgeport
Presented by his daughter, Miss H. F. W. Sweetzer, April, 1907.
Thomas Roland Nahant
Trustee of the Society. Painted by Leslie P. Thompson, 1933. Paid
for from Thomas Roland Fund Interest. $500. Frame made by
Walfred Thulin. $40.
Ernest H. Wilson Jamaica Plain
Trustee of the Society. Painted by Marie Page. 1933. Paid for from
198 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
the Jackson Dawson Memorial Fund Interest. $500. Frame made by
Walfred Thulin. $45.
Jere Arthur Downs Winchester
Trustee of the Society. Painted by Wilbur F. Noyes. Presented by
the Downs Estate, March, 1945.
PAINTINGS BEQUEATHED TO THE SOCIETY
The late Nathaniel T. Kidder, who passed away in 1938 after serv-
ing many years in such capacities as president, a member of the Board
of Trustees and chairman of the library committee of the Massachusetts
Horticultural Society, bequeathed four of his paintings to this organiza-
tion. They are as follows:
Watercolor, n inches by 6% inches, of Flowers, by Alfred Parsons,
in a narrow gilt frame.
Painting on canvas, 13^ inches by 17 inches, of Chrysanthemums
in a greenhouse, by E. N. Fisher, in a narrow gilt frame.
Framed Watercolor, 37^ inches by 19 inches, of a landscape with
tall date palms, by H. R. Newman, in a wide gilt frame.
Framed Watercolor, n^ inches by 8 inches, Sondannella and Cro-
cus, by Teresa Hegg.
In addition to these paintings, Mr. Kidder left the Society approxi-
mately 300 books on horticulture and allied subjects and an outright
bequest of $5,000 for the use of the library.
PAINTINGS OBTAINED BY GIFT
Opening of the Exhibition of the United States Agricultural Society in
Boston, October, 1855. Marshall P. Wilder, President. Duplicate
picture, also original, presented June, 1923, by his son, Edward B.
Cereus giganteus, by Henry C. Pratt. Donated by L. M. Sargent,
December 15, i860. (Cactus found in the hot and arid regions of
Woman in poppy field, by Francis Davis Millet, 1884. Presented in
1924 by Misses Marian Roby Case and Louisa Williams Case.
Group of fruit, by A. De Franchimont. Presented in 1924 by Misses
Marian Roby Case and Louisa Williams Case.
PORTRAITS, BUSTS AND VASES 199
Vase of roses. Presented in 1924 by Misses Marian Roby Case and
Louisa Williams Case.
Lotus, Japanese Painting by K. Takahashi, Tokyo, 1901. Presented
by Mrs. Clement S. Houghton, 1934.
Jacob Bigelow, M.D. 1837-1879
Presented by Charles O. Whitmore, 1872. (Full length portrait of
Jacob Bigelow destroyed in the fire of 1888.)
Presented to the Society by his son, Amos A. Lawrence, January,
By Bracket. Presented to the Society, January, 1872.
By Henry Dexter. Paid for by the Society, June, 1852, $300, to
commemorate the gifts of trust funds.
By Joseph Milmore. Paid for by the Society, February 17, 1876,
By Henry Dexter, 1863. Presented by Charles O. Whitmore.
Bought of P. Gariboldi, May 12, 1870, $35.
Bought of P. Gariboldi, May, 1870, $15.
C. O. Whitmore
By Joseph Milmore. Presented by the Massachusetts Agricultural
Club, January, 1869.
Marshall P. Wilder
By Henry Dexter. Presented to the Society by Charles O. Whitmore,
The two matched blue vases were presented by Josiah Bradlee, Boston,
June 7, 1845.
200 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
The two small china vases (flowers and birds) were presented by
George B. Jones, September 16, 1856.
The small china vase (dragon on side) was presented by George B.
Jones, April 27, 1849.
The two large china vases (horses) were presented by Francis H. Apple-
ton and Arthur F. Estabrook, January, 1901.
Two small decorated vases were bought at auction by the Society about
Two carved teak wood bases for the largest vases, gift of Mrs. S. V.
R. Crosby, December 22, 1931.
Two large bronze vases. One glass display case, gift of Wilfrid Wheeler,
Two large blue vases, presented in memory of Samuel J. Goddard by
Mrs. Samuel J. Goddard, May, 1949.
TRUSTEES FROM 1929
Name Elected Retired
Thomas Roland 1909 1929*
Edwin S. Webster 191 7 1949*
Fred A. Wilson 1920 1931
William C. Endicott 1921 1936*
Mrs. Bayard Thayer 1921 1941*
Nathaniel T. Kidder 1922 1938*
John S. Ames 1922
Francis S. Appleton 1922 1939*
Marian Roby Case 1922 1944*
Mrs. S. V. R. Crosby 1922 1953
Arthur Lyman 1922 1928
George C. Thurlow 1922 1930
Henry P. Walcott 1922 1932*
Ernest H. Wilson 1922 1930*
Mrs. Homer Gage 1923 1938
Walter Hunnewell 1925
Albert C. Burrage 1925 1931*
Howard Coonley 1926 1935
Loring Underwood 1926 1930*
Robert C. Morse 1928 1928*
George Peabody Gardner Jr. 1929 1933
James Methven 1929 1932
* Members of the Board who died while in office.
TRUSTEES FROM 1929 201
Name Elected Retired
Robert G. Stone 1929 1942**
Samuel J. Goddard 1929 1948*
Harlan P. Kelsey 1930 1948
Joseph E. Chandler 1930 1936
Ernest B. Dane 1931 1936
Hugh Bancroft 1931 1933*
George Butterworth 1931
Albert C. Burrage, Jr. 1932 1934
Jere A. Downs 1933 *935*
William Ellery 1933 1944
Harold S. Ross 1933
William Dexter 1934 1937
Winthrop L. Carter 1935 1938
Louis Agazzis Shaw 1936 J 939
Charles K. Cummings 1936 1947
Mrs. Roger S. Warner 1936
Robert H. Roland 1937 1938**
Dr. Elmer D. Merrill 1938 1953
William P. Wolcott 1938 1944
Fletcher Steele 1939 1945
Winthrop L. Carter 1939 1943*
Mrs. John Gardner Coolidge 1940 1952
Aubrey B. Butler 1941
Dunbar Lockwood 1942 1945
Dr. George O. Clark 1943
A. Shaw McKean 1944 1948**
Ernest Hoftyzer 1944 1950
Paul Dempsey 1944 1946
George Lewis Jr. 1944 1952*
Richard C. Paine 1945 1946**
Mrs. William A. Parker 1945
William P. Wolcott 1946 1948*
Ray M. Koon 1947 1953
Stedman Buttrick 1947
George B. Cabot 1948 1952**
John Chandler 1948 1949
Seth L. Kelsey 1948
Dr. Ralph A. Van Meter 1949
* Members of the Board who died while in office.
202 TWENTY-FIVE HISTORIC YEARS
Name Elected Retired
Oliver Wolcott 1949
Ernest Borowski 1950
Albert C. Burrage 195 1
Mrs. James Perkins 1952
Mrs. Edwin S. Webster 1953
Harold D. Stevenson 1953
Dr. Donald Wyman 1953
Edward Dane 1954
The awards of the George Robert White Medal of Honor, the H. H.
Hunnewell Medal, the Thomas Roland Medal, the Jackson Dawson
Memorial Medal, the Albert C. Burrage Gold Vase, the Albert C.
Burrage Porch Prize and the dates of service of the Trustees are omitted
from the Index as they are listed chronologically in the Appendix.
Aberconway, Lord, visit by, 55; award
to, 56, 125
Adams, Mrs. Arthur, award to, 120, 171
Adams, Mrs. Helen, Award to, 125
Adams Company, L. Sherman, award to,
American Horticultural Council, Con-
gress of, 179
American Iris Society, New England
Region of the, award to, 113
American Orchid Society, cooperates in
a Spring Show, 152
Ames, John S., award to, 85; elected
president, 106 ; gift of book from, 161 ;
accepts a scroll for the society, 179
Ames, Mrs. John S., cup offered by, 131
Ames, Mr. and Mrs. John S., award to,
117, 152, 175
Ames, Oakes, botanical chart prepared
by, 58; resigns from the board of
trustees, 86; made an honorary trus-
tee, 86; death of, 146; career of, 146
Ames, Winthrop, award to, 12
Anderson, William, 85
Andover Inn, award to, 171
Anniversary Committee, 174
Appleton Farms, award to, 66
Appleton, Gen. Francis H., death of, 74
Armstrong, Charles D. award to, 20
Armstrong, Mrs. Charles D., award to,
Arnold Arboretum, award to, 166
Arnold, Rev. and Mrs. Harold G., award
Arnott, Peter, 71 ; award to, 131
Autumn show, admission fee charged, 30
Awards to gardeners, 8
Ayer, Mrs. Charles F., award to, 47
Azaleas, Kurume, first exhibited, 19
Bacon, Gaspar G., award to, 38
Baker, Horace, award to, 28
Baker, Dr. Hugh P., award to, 135;
death of, 156
Baker, Mr. and Mrs. George B., award
Barbour, Dr. Thomas, award to, 70
Bartlett, F. A., award to, 80
Bay State Nurseries, award to, 112, 117,
Benevolent Fruit and Flower Mission, 28
Benway, Stillman, bequest of, 167
Berkshire Garden Center, award to, 93
Billings, Miss Bernice, award to, 11
Binney, Miss Mary May, head of "Gar-
den Week" committee, 135; award to,
Bird, Mrs. Charles Sumner, Jr., award
Blakeslee, Dr. Albert F., award to, 122
Blanchard, Archibald, award to, 20
Blood, Charles O., award to, 34
Blossom, Harold Hill, flower show plan-
ner, 43 ; death of, 48
Blue Ribbon Certificates, introduced, 27
Bobbink, Lambertus C, death of, 156
Bonus, paid employes, 95
Borowski, Ernest, award to, 70, 97, 128
Boston, award to park department of, 28
Boston Mycological Club, office provided
for, 72 ; moves to Cambridge, 99
Boston Victory Garden Committee,
award to, 114
Bowditch, Ernest W., books given in
memory of, 32
Bowers, Dr. Clement Gray, new book
Bradley, Mrs. J. D. Cameron, award to,
Brailey, Dr. Allen C, award to, 171
Brandegee, Mr. and Mrs. Edward D.,
award to, 12
Breck's, award to, 150, 152, 160
Brookline, Town of, award to, 60
Brown, Miss Helen, exhibit designed by,
Brown, Mrs. Theodore, award to, 28, 43
Bruggermann, L. G., award to, 86
Buffum, Jesse, lecture by, 143
Burdett, James H., presented Horticul-
ture's anniversary scroll, 180
Burnham, Mrs. Grace, award to, 171
Burrage, Albert C, porch fund estab-
lished, 2 ; begins 10th term as presi-
dent, 6; gift to the society, 8; death
of, 14; efforts of in the society's be-
half, 15; cranberry fund established
by, 15; library of bequeathed to the
Burrage, Mrs. Albert C, delivers rare
books to the society, 83 ; delivers
water colors to the society, 83 ; death
Burrage, Albert C, Jr., award to, 93
Burrage, Albert Cameron, 3rd, death of,
Burrage Porch Fund, terms of modified,
Butler & Ullman, award to, 175
Buttrick, Stedman, award to, 127;
elected treasurer, 132; first report by,
Buxton, Mrs. H. H., bulletin by, 19;
award to, 163; record of begonia
species, gift by, 163
Buzzards Bay Garden Club, award to,
By-Laws of the Society, changes in the,
7; amendments to adopted, 24; com-
mittee appointed to revise the, 58;
amended, 105, 112
Cambridge Plant Club, award to, 20, 153
Camellia Show, becomes established, 70
Camfield, Mrs. Esther L., secretary
Benevolent Fruit and Flower Mission,
Camp, Dr. W. H., lecture by, 69
Carter, F. I. & Sons, award to, 113, 118,
Carter, Winthrop L., death of, 106
Case, Miss Louisa, bequest of, 126
Case, Miss Marian Roby, donates bronze
medals, 41 ; retires from children's
garden committee, 77; work of as
committee chairman, 77; elected an
honorary trustee, 77; death of, 107;
bequest of, 107
Cataloguing Fund, established, 49
Centennial Exhibition, 1
Centennial Medals, 1
Certificates, first class, 51
Chamberlain, R. G., award to, 150
Chandler, Joseph, memorial to, 126
Cherry Hill Nurseries, award to, 65, 76 ;
tribute to, 76
Chestnut Hill Garden Club, award to,
China, tribute to, 94
Chrysanthemum Society of America, ex-
hibit of, 83
Clark, Dr. George R., award to, 113, 142
Clark, William H., appointed editor,
124; resignation of, 148
Cohn, Dr. and Mrs. Edwin, award to,
Cole, William R., award to, 109
Concord Grape, centennial of, 139
Coolidge, Mrs. John G., award to, 46
Corliss Brothers, award to, 35
Cornish, Geoffrey S., author, 164
Craig, William, N., lily prize established
by, 8; death of, 128; career of, 128
Crosby, Mrs. Stephen Van Renssaeler,
award to, 38; new chairs presented
by, 57 ; tribute to, 75 ; resigns from
board of trustees, 167
Crowell, Ivan H., lecture by, 45
Crowninshield, Mrs. Francis B., award
to, 38, 71, 83
Cummings Estate School Garden exhibit,
award to, 139, 161
Cummings, Miss Margaret, award to, 47,
Cunningham, Mrs. John H., award to,
115; tribute to, 115
Curtis, Prof. Ralph W., lecture by, 45
Curtis, Will C, award to, 49; tribute to,
75 ; award to, 97, 103
Daffodil Show, first, 50
Dahlia Show, discontinued, 122
Danielson, Mr. and Mrs. R. E., award
Davenport, George E., herbarium of, 21
Davis, Arnold, director Cleveland Gar-
den Center, 108
Dayton, William A., award to, 79
De La Mare, Alpheus T., award to, 80
Desmond, Thomas, award to, 150
Dexter, Charles O., award to, 86
Dexter, Mr. and Mrs. W. Endicott,
award to, 47
Dooley, Thomas Patrick, reviews school
garden movement, 40
Downs, Elizabeth, awards to, 50
Downs, Jere A., award to, 38; bequest
to the society, 108
Dutch Bulbs Growers' Association, 131
Eastwood, Mrs. Catherine S., award to,
Eddy, Sherman, awards to, 36, 125
Edmunds, Fred, award to, 162
Edwards, Miss Grace, award to, 34
Ellery, William, point system of judging
defended by, 50
Elliott, Mrs. Emily I., resigns as secre-
tary Fruit and Flower Mission, 116
Emery, Mr. and Mrs. H. P., award to,
Endecott, Gov. Prize, offered by William
C. Endicott, 3
Endicott, Wendell H., award to, 127
Endicott, William C, death of, 53 ; work
for the society reviewed, 54
Endowment Fund, campaign for, started,
107; campaign closed, 119; increased,
Eustis, Mrs. Tracey, award to, 13
Everett, City of, award to, 79
Exhibition Committee, fees for, 32
Exhibitions, number of reduced, 127
Fairbanks, Stephen, bulletin by, 153
Fairchild, David G., award to, 12
Farrand, Mrs. Beatrix, award to, 156;
silver bowl from, 175
Farrington, Edward I., award to, 93;
resigns as secretary, 117; complimen-
tary dinner for, 123; tribute to, 125;
presented Horticulture's anniversary
Fearing, Mrs. George A., award to, 28
Feinberg, Mrs. Archibald I., award to,
Felt, Dr. E. P., lecture by, 66
Feno, Mrs. Carteret, award to, 3
Fernald, Merritt L., award to, 99
Finnie, George, award to, 137
First Church of Christ, Scientist, award
to, 86, 171
Fischer, George L., lecture by, 66
Fisher, Peter, trophies and medals of,
Floods, 1936 exhibition hampered by,
"Flowers in Art and Decoration," anni-
versary celebration, 180
Foley, Daniel J., appointed editor of
Horticulture, 148 ; Horticulture's scrolls
presented by, 180
Foote, Mrs. Harriet R., death of, 156
Foote, Mrs. Stuart F., lecture by, 51
Forbes, Mrs. George O., award to, 13,
Forbes, Mr. and Mrs. William Stuart,
award to, 121
Forbes, Mrs. William Stuart, designer of
prize exhibit, 76
Frese, Paul, resigns as associate editor,
Frost, Paul, award to, 3
Fruit and Vegetable Show, first, the,
Gage, Mrs. Homer, death of, 140
Garden Club Exhibition Committee,
award to, 70, in, 125
Garden Club Exhibits, made eligible for
Garden Club of America, award by, 70,
97; board of associates entertained,
Garden Club Federation of Massachu-
setts, headquarters provided for, 72 ;
award to, 112, 146
Garden Club Service, Inc., work of, n 1 ;
award to, 113
Garden Club Year Books, traveling col-
lections of, 73
"Garden Week in Massachusetts," first,
135; second, 149.
Geehan, James, appointed assistant to
the secretary, 18; appointed advertis-
ing manager, 31; death of, 148
Gifford, Mr. and Mrs., award to, 151
Goddard, Samuel J., death of, 132
Graaff, Jan de, gift of manuscripts by,
"Grandmother's Garden," award to, 60
Graves, George, bulletins by, 91, 92;
broadcasting by, 99; awarded Jewett
prize, 124; becomes a nurseryman, 124
Greenslet, Mrs. Ferris, award to, 47
Greer, Mr. and Mrs. Don S., award to,
Grisworld, Mrs. Charles C, award to,
Groton Garden Club, award to, 131
Hadley, Dr. and Mrs. Amos, award to,
Hamilton, Ormond, award to, 76
Hancock, Ralph, awards to, 30
Hans, Egbert, award to, 56
Hartford, Mrs. E. V., award to, n
Hayes, Francis Brown, bequest of, 137;
as a benefactor, 137
Hayward, Mrs. Harry, award to, 3
Heald Company, award to, 143
Heimlich, Alexander I., award to, 97,
103, 131, 160, 175, 177
Herb Society of America, Francis Tor-
rey Norton Memorial presented by,
67; office provided for, 80
Herrington, Arthur, award to, 80
Hewitt, George, award to, 160
Hicks, Henry, award to, 86
Higgins, Mrs. Aldus, award to, 157
Hoffman, Mrs. Bernard, award to, 143
Holiday, George, a new award, 103
Honorary Members, list of established,
Hornblower, Mrs. Ralph, award to, 34
Horticulture, prizes offered by, 73; is-
sued monthly, 130; selected for per-
manent recording, 147 ; award to, 147 ;
subscription price increased, 155;
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society,
withdraws its subscriptions, 155 ; Hor-
ticultural Society of New York with-
draws its subscriptions, 155; subscrip-
tion price increased, 169; eight color
pages added, 170; fiftieth anniversary
edition of, 179; anniversary scrolls
awarded by, 180; circulation increased
to fifty thousand, 180; subscriptions
by the Pennsylvania Horticultural
Society restored, 180
Horticultural Hall, improvements made
in, 15; plans for a new building aban-
doned, 18; exhibition hall renovated,
49; new room constructed on the
third floor, 57; four new offices pro-
vided, 72 ; new freight elevator in-
stalled, 84; alternating current intro-
duced, 84 ; blackout curtains installed,
89 ; loud speaker system installed, in ;
Edison steam heat installed, 147 ; mod-
ern incinerator installed, 159; com-
position floor laid in the lecture hall,
159; sound-proof ceilings installed, 159
House Plant Exhibition, a new show, 126
Howard, Dr. Richard A., lecture by, 164
Howes, Mrs. Osborne, award to, 34
Hudson, Miss Ethel E., appointed secre-
tary of the Benevolent Fruit and
Flower Mission, 116; death of, 133
Hudson, Mr. and Mrs. Willard, award
Hulley, Albert A., award to, 49, 70, 97,
Humphrey, Mr. and Mrs. Richard S.,
Hunnewell, Francis and Miss Louisa,
award to, 163
Hunnewell, H. H. Medal, introduced, 37
Hurley, James J., award to, 122
Hussey, Mrs. Frederick, award to, 3
Hyde, Mrs. George L., award to, 28
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Royal
Horticultural Society cup won by, 56;
award to, 66, 103, 133, 145
Jackson, Hooper, appointed head jani-
Jackson & Perkins, award to, 152
Jackson, Robert T., books from the li-
brary of, 147; death of, 140
Jane Hart Cascade Chrysanthemums,
origin of, 77
Japanese Beetle, bulletin about, 61
Jekyll, Gertrude, award to, 2
Johnson Brothers, Inc., award to, 166
Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell, award
Johnson, Stewart, award to, 103
Jones, Donald Forsha, award to, 156
Joy, Ellis, death of, 147
Judd, William H., death of, 113
Junior League Garden Club, award to,
Keener, Hazel, appointed editorial assist-
tant, 47 ; resigns, 63
Kelsey, Harlan P., award to, 52 ; career
Kelsey, Harlan P., Inc., award to, 83,
90, 137, 160
Kelsey, Seth, radio program of, 132 ; ap-
pointed chairman anniversary commit-
Kendall, Dr. Walter G., award to, 17;
work with grapes, 27
Key, Ellen, water colors by, 147
Kidder, Nathaniel T., death of, 64; be-
quest of, 64
King, Mrs. Francis, books from library
Kinsey, Prof. Albert C, award to, 99
Kirkman, Mr. and Mrs. S. A., award to,
Koon, Ray M., changes in judging sug-
gested by, 91; resigns from board of
trustees, 167; award to, 172; death of,
Lamb, Misses Aimee and Rosamond,
award to, 164
Lane, Joseph J., award to, 172
Lane, Mrs. G. M., award to, 46
Latimer, Julia A., lectures by, 52
Leuthy, Antoine, medal fund established
Lewis, George, Jr., death of, 164
Lexington Nurseries, Inc., award to, 131
Library Catalogue, completed, 176
Lichens, display of, 153
Lily Show, discontinued, 133
Lily Society, North American, organized,
126; first annual meeting of, 133
Lincoln, Edwin Hale, death of, 64; be-
quest of, 64
Littlefield, William R., appointed adver-
tising manager, 148; resignation of,
Loring, Mrs. Lindsley, award to, 66
Low, Mrs. Edward G., award to, 21
Lovell General Hospital, award to, 113
Macomber, John R., award to, 114
Manda, W. Albert, award to, 26; death
of, 26 ; career of, 26
Manks, Miss Dorothy S., report on trade
Manning, Richard C., gift of books by,
Marchant, Alfred H., award to, 60
Massachusetts, Commonwealth of, award
Massachusetts Horticultural Society,
provides aid to unemployed, 26; pur-
poses of its library, 40; host to the
American Orchid Society, 51; gives a
dinner for members, 55; receives a
gold medal award, 55; raises dues to
three dollars, 68; turns to war work,
88; awarded a certificate, 114; resumes
giving medals, 117; reclassified in re-
spect to gift and bequest taxes, 119;
declines an offer for the building, 120;
awarded the Bulkley medal, 136;
membership reaches a new high, 146;
dues increased to four dollars, 155;
employes vote to accept social secu-
rity, 158; freed from taxes on admis-
sions, 167; dues raised to five dollars,
169; receives Bulkley medal, 175;
membership reaches fourteen thou-
sand, 176; 125th anniversary observed,
180; anniversary luncheon, 180
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance
Company, award to, 60
Massachusetts Nurserymen's Association,
cooperation by the, 75
Massachusetts Society for Promoting
Agriculture, office in Wenham estab-
lished by, 177; takes over books from
Horticultural Hall, 177
Mayo, Mrs. Florence, important records
compiled by, 25
McFarland, J. Horace, death of, 140
McGinley, Mrs. Holden, award to, 28
McGinley, Mrs. J. R., award to, 19
McKean, Q. A. Shaw, resignation of,
Medal certificates, substituted for medals,
Men's Garden Club of Boston, organ-
ized, 141 ; convention host, 160
Merrill, Dr. Elmer Drew, career of re-
viewed, 121; explains library policy,
138; critical report by, 168; resigns
as a member of the Board of Trustees,
Michigan Horticultural Society, sub-
scribes to Horticulture for its mem-
Montgomery, Colonel R. H., award to,
Moore, Mrs. W. H., anniversary award
Morgan, Mrs. Edith, award to, 34
Moseley, Ben: Perlay Poore, award to,
Motion Picture Program, prepared and
Mt. Auburn Cemetery Fund, 75
Murray, Thomas, gardener for Mr. and
Mrs. Francis Crowninshield, 83
Nehrling, Arno H., appointed exhibition
manager, 31; elected president of the
Society of American Florists, 63; ap-
pointed secretary of Boston war gar-
den committee, 88; elected a director
of United Horticulture, 119; appointed
executive secretary, 124; elected secre-
tary of the American Horticultural
Council, 127; presents awards to New
York show winners, 130; attends the
Spring flower show in California, 138 ;
attends the international Horticultural
Congress in London, 162; elected a
director of the Men's Garden Clubs of
America, 173 ; program chairman of the
1954 American Horticultural Congress,
179; presented a bronze plaque, 179;
awarded the Scharps Memorial Life
Membership in the Horticultural So-
ciety of New York, 181; selected to
lead a garden tour to Hawaii, 181
Newell, Edward C, lecture by, 52
New England Gladiolus Society, office
provided for, 72
New England Gourd Society, office pro-
vided for, 72
Newton, Brenda, appointed associate
Newton, City of, award to, 60
New York Experiment Station, exhibits
North Shore Garden Club, award to,
North Shore Horticultural Society,
award to, 175
Norton, Mrs. Charles, award to, 47
Norton Company, award to, 143
Norton, Francis Torrey Memorial pre-
sented the society, 67
Norton, Harry, death of, 140
O'Brien, Daniel, award to, 115
Orchids, new rule affecting the exhibi-
tion of, 58
Osgood, Mr. and Mrs. Dana, award to,
Ott, John Nash, Jr., lecture by, 132
Painting, representing the society's first
Palmer, George, award to, 134; remark-
able show record of, 134; superintend-
ent for Mrs. R. M. Saltonstall, 134
Parker Brothers, record exhibitors, 168
Parker, Miss Cornelia Conway, award
Parker, Mrs. Gustavus D., award to, 3
Parsons, Miss Mary, award to, 12
Pearson, Haydn S., award to, 142
Pease, Mrs. Charles, award to, 47
Peirce, A. Allan, death of, 165
Pennell, Mrs. Henry D., award to, 3
Perkins, Mrs. Ida A., appointed secre-
tary of the Fruit and Flower Mission,
133 ; resignation of, 165
Peterson, Mrs. Elizabeth, award to, 72
Pickman, Dudley L., award to, 27
Pierson, Frank R., award to, 3
Pigeons, a problem, 52
"Plant Buyer's Guide," published, 120
"Plant Buyer's Index," purchased, 120
Post, Dr. Kenneth, award to, 142
Preininger, Miss Margaret, lectures by,
President's Gallery, 26
President, two candidates for, 56
Preston, Miss Isabella, award to, 21
Prize Committee, fees for, 40
Proctor, Mr. and Mrs. Charles A., award
Purdy, Carl, award to, 12
Queen, John W., death of, 165
Quincy, City of, award to, 93
Rehder, Dr. Alfred, award to, 59
Rich, William Penn, death of, 10; her-
barium of, 21
Riley, Mrs. Charles E., award to, 93
Robinson, Mrs. H. J., award to, 13
Rockwell, Fred A., award to, 180
Roland, Robert H., Resignation of, 63
Roland, Thomas, death of, 1 ; career of,
1 ; tribute to, 2
Ross, Harold S., suggests new awards,
Ross, Mr. and Mrs. Harold S., award to,
Royal Horticultural Society, salutation
from, 5 ; cup for award presented by,
56; cablegram from, 82; salutation
sent to, 178
Rule Book, completely revised, 44
Rummage Sales, 45, 73
Russell, John, award to, 127
Saltonstall, Richard M., portrait of, 167
Salvage, Mr. and Mrs. Louis H., award
Sander, Charles J., award to, 2 ; death
Sedgwick, Mr. and Mrs. Ellery, award
Seiner, Frank, becomes landscape con-
Seymour, E. L. D., presented Horticul-
ture's scroll, 180
Shaw, Prof. Jacob K., award to, 109
Show Insurance Fund, established, 1 ;
large addition to, 123
Simpson, A. Kenneth, award to, 134
Slate, George L., lecture by, 70
Spring Flower Show, held in Horticul-
ture Hall, 8, 25, 96, 103, 112
Stackpole, Mrs. Pierpont L., award to,
Steffek, Enwin F., joins the armed forces,
98; resignation of, 138
Stevenson, Harold, becomes technical
show adviser, 137; makes overall show
plan, 174; awarded Horticulture's
Stewart, George, award to, 103
Stewart, William J., library of given the
Stimpson, Rufus Witaker, award to, 53
Stoddard, Mr. and Mrs. Henry G.,
award to, 134
Stone, Mrs. Galen L., award to, 38, 112
Stone, Mr. and Mrs. Robert G., award
to, 125, 136, 166, 175, 160
Stone, Robert, resigns as a member of
the board of trustees, 98
Stone, Mrs. Robert, offers a one hundred
dollar prize, 11
"Stowaway Sweets," award to, 171
Stranger, David C., death of, 76
Sturtevant, Robert, lectures by, 58
Sturtevant, Miss Grace, death of, 114
Subway, construction of the, 73
Sullivan, John, award to, 146
Taloumis, George, appointed associate
editor, 138; given leave of absence,
Taylor, Norman, award to, 53
Taylor, Dr. William A., award to, 72
Teele, Mrs. Arthur P., special classes
conducted by, 84, 162
Thayer, Mrs. Bayard, death of, 84; ef-
forts of in behalf of the society, 85
Titus, Mrs. Gertrude I., award to, 13
Todd, William, award to, 113, 125, 131
Totty Memorial Medal, a new award,
Trade Space, introduced at the fall show,
Tudor, Mrs. Henry D., aids the chil-
dren's show, 139; money for milk
donated by, 139 ; milk fund established
Tudor, Mr. and Mrs., award to, 163
Tulip Show, established, 70
Underwood, Loring, death of, 9
Van Beuren, Mr. and Mrs. M. M.,
award to, 66
Wadsworth, Mrs. Elizabeth Downs,
death of, 107 ; bequest by, 108
Walcott, Henry Pickering, death of, 28
Walke, William P. & Sons, award to, 76,
Walker, Mr. and Mrs. Clifford C., 171
Wall, Milford, lecture by, 143
Wallace, Mrs. Charles F., award to, 34
Walters, Fred, award to, 146
Waltham Field Station, tribute to, 75;
award to, 114
Ward, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur, award to,
Warner, Mrs. Roger S., appointed chair-
man of the children's show committee,
Warren, Mrs. Fiske, gift of orchid prints
Waugh, Prof. Frank A., death of, 114
Webster, Edwin S., elected president, 23 ;
reelected president, 63 ; presents deer-
skin to the library, 84; award to, 90;
last address as president, 104 ; portrait
of received, 129; award to, 137; death
of, 147 ; horticultural activities of, 147
Webster, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin S., award
to, 71, 146
Webster, Mrs. Edwin S., award to, 27;
Webster, Mrs. Helen Noyes, bulletin by,
33; death of, 140; tribute to, 140
Weld, Mrs. Charles G., award to, 86
Weld, Mrs. Stephen, award to, 34
Wellington, Richard, award to, 59
Wendler, Henry G., active in children's
shows, 139; report by, 177
Weston Nurseries, award to, 153, 166
Weston, T. A., Memorial Trophy, a new
Wheeler, Wilfrid, show plan suggested
by, 56 ; vases and glass case presented
by, 57; award to, 83; awarded Jewett
Whipple, Mrs. Sherman, head of Garden
Club Service, Inc., 11 1
White, Miss Elizabeth, award to, 86
White, Prof. Edward A., award to, 65
Whitney, Mr. and Mrs. Geoffrey, award
to, 19, 150
Whitney, Mrs. Geoffrey, benefaction by,
Wild Flower Preservation Society, New
England, room provided for, 16;
awards to stimulate propagation of
wild flowers, 51 ; award by, 83
Wilson, Ernest H., death of, 9; career
Wilson, Fred A., death of, 156
Winchester, town of, award to, 79
Winsock, Joseph A., award to, 66 ; mur-
der of, 66
Winter Gardeners, award to, 125
"Winter Hardy Rhododendrons," pub-
lished by the society, 176
Farrinjtor, E. I.
Wister, John C, award to, 65
Wolcott, Oliver, appointed assistant
Wolcott, William T., death of, 131
Women's Exhibition Committee, formed
132; award to, 146, 152, 176
Wood, Allen H., Jr., president of the
Men's Garden Club of Boston, 141
Wood, James, death of, 161
Wright, Mrs. Irving, award to, 70,
Wright, Richardson, Horticulture's scroll
issued to, 180
Year Book, outlines the society's work,
Young, Charles, unorthodox fruit
Farrington, E. I.
Twenty-five historic years
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